2016 Progress Report: Project 2: Assessment of Energy-Related Sources, Factors and Transitions Using Novel High-Resolution Ambient Air Monitoring Networks and Personal Monitors

EPA Grant Number: R835871C002
Subproject: this is subproject number 002 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R835871
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Solutions for Energy, AiR, Climate and Health Center (SEARCH)
Center Director: Bell, Michelle L.
Title: Project 2: Assessment of Energy-Related Sources, Factors and Transitions Using Novel High-Resolution Ambient Air Monitoring Networks and Personal Monitors
Investigators: Gentner, Drew R. , Breysse, Patrick , Katz, Howard , Kerkez, Branko , Koehler, Kirsten , Peccia, Jordan , Zaitchik, Ben
Institution: Yale University , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , The Johns Hopkins University , University of Michigan
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2020
Project Period Covered by this Report: October 1, 2015 through September 30,2016
RFA: Air, Climate And Energy (ACE) Centers: Science Supporting Solutions (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air , Climate Change , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Airborne Particulate Matter Health Effects , Environmental Engineering , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry

Objective:

We aim to determine the fraction of observed heterogeneity in regional air pollution and personal exposure that is due to energy-related factors (e.g., transportation, power generation). The objectives are to: (1) develop novel online multipollutant monitors to simultaneously measure air pollutants and greenhouse gases; (2) deploy a high-resolution, multipollutant stationary monitoring network to quantify variability in pollutant concentrations at high spatiotemporal resolution; and use source apportionment methods to assess contributions from energy-related sources; and (3) deploy novel multipollutant sensors as personal monitors to evaluate temporally-resolved personal exposures with detailed time-activity information; and use source apportionment methods to assess contributions from energy-related sources.

Progress Summary:

The first year has focused on the development of the stationary and portable multipollutant monitors (Objective 1) and preparations for the field measurements of Project 2, starting in year 2 (Objective 2-3).

Objective 1: The activities of Year 1 on Objective 1 (“Develop novel online multipollutant monitors to simultaneously measure air pollutants and GHGs" [i.e., CO, CO2, CH4, PM2.5, NO2, O3, SO2, oxidative potential, VOCs]) have specifically included:

  1. Development of custom electronics to interface with all sensors and collect/transmit data on a custom microprocessor system. These electronics have been specifically developed at Yale to be ultra-low noise and maintain detection limits at atmospheric background concentrations. We have successfully designed custom printable circuit boards to run the best commercially available sensors that measure CO, CO2, CH4, PM2.5, NO2, O3, and SO2, and to add additional particulate matter size resolution. New exploratory sensor technology for oxidative potential sensors has been developed by Howard Katz (Johns Hopkins University, JHU). The material has been tested for sensitivity, performance and lifetime and shows strong sensitivity to NO2 with a lifetime on the order of 20 days.      
  2. We have designed a compact sensor manifold and printed it using a 3D printer to house all the gas-phase sensors in a compact fashion that accommodates and upstream PM filter and air pump downstream with flows around 1 LPM. It accommodates a relative humidity and temperature sensor and all of the air pollutant sensors except for the PM sensor, which has its own minimal inlet. The design of the external housing is still in progress. The final will be different for the stationary and personal monitors, with emphasis on durability and in the case of the latter, portability.
  3. Low-power cellular communications will be used with data temporarily stored locally in case of communications failure. Real-time cyber infrastructure has previously been developed by Dr. Kerkez to route sensor feeds, store readings, and visualize sensor streams.

Objective 2: Developing a network of sites for stationary monitors during field deployment and protocols for the personal sampling. Site selection has focused on a set of initial sites that co-locate with other existing instrumentation at existing sampling sites (e.g., Maryland Department of the Environment).

Objective 3: Plans and materials for the personal exposure study have been developed. This has included developing participant recruitment materials, selection strategy/protocol, survey materials, and sampling plan. As part of the personal exposure sampling plans, we have received IRB approval. Calibration protocols and duplicate measurement methods are under development for stationary and personal monitors, both before deployment and in-field calibration (both between units and with in-field zero and span check tanks).

Future Activities:

Year 2 of the project will primarily include the completion of mulitpollutant monitor design, and the deployment of the fixed stationary network (Objective 2) and the start of personal exposure monitoring (Objective 3). This will include a detailed assessment of monitor performance in both laboratory controlled conditions and field environments, and the subsequent construction of all the monitors for the project. In addition, it will include site selection with a statistical assessment of spatial coverage, and the recruitment of study participants. After several complete monitors have been tested at Yale and JHU, we will start our staged deployment with the first wave of 5-10 monitors in spring-early summer 2017. After an initial evaluation on in-field performance, we will install the remaining 45-50 monitors in three sets in summer-fall 2017.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 1 publications for this subproject

Supplemental Keywords:

Air pollution, ambient air quality, criteria pollutants, exposure assessment, health effects, human exposure, mixtures, oxidative stress, particulate matter, transport, source apportionment

Relevant Websites:

SEARCH (Solutions for Energy, Air, Climate, & Health) Center | Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract


Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R835871    Solutions for Energy, AiR, Climate and Health Center (SEARCH)

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R835871C001 Project 1: Modeling Emissions from Energy Transitions
R835871C002 Project 2: Assessment of Energy-Related Sources, Factors and Transitions Using Novel High-Resolution Ambient Air Monitoring Networks and Personal Monitors
R835871C003 Project 3: Air Quality and Climate Change Modeling: Improving Projections of the Spatial and Temporal Changes of Multipollutants to Enhance Assessment of Public Health in a Changing World
R835871C004 Project 4: Human Health Impacts of Energy Transitions: Today and Under a Changing World