Integrating the Thermal Behavior and Optical Properties of Carbonaceous Particles: Theory, Laboratory Studies, and Application to Field DataEPA Grant Number: R831085
Title: Integrating the Thermal Behavior and Optical Properties of Carbonaceous Particles: Theory, Laboratory Studies, and Application to Field Data
Investigators: Bond, Tami C.
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: September 1, 2003 through August 31, 2006 (Extended to August 31, 2008)
Project Amount: $247,815
RFA: Measurement, Modeling, and Analysis Methods for Airborne Carbonaceous Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) (2003) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Particulate Matter
Monitoring relies on thermal/optical measurement techniques to assess the types of carbonaceous particles in ambient air and in emissions from combustion sources. At present, different commercial analyzers give different results. Some of these differences may be explained by examining the behavior of the particles as they are heated during analysis. Our objectives are: (1) improving the confidence limits of combined thermal/optical transitions of specific fractions of primary carbonaceous aerosols; (2) confirming to 95% confidence that elemental carbon can be treated as a conserved tracer; and (3) demonstrating enhanced interpretations of thermal/optical analyses of carbonaceous particles for an existing database of field measurements.
We will review quantitatively the impacts of optical artifacts on results of thermal/optical analysis, measure realistic particles generated and processed under controlled conditions and interpret their combined thermal and optical behavior, and develop and apply new insights to a data from an intensive field campaign.
We expect to achieve an increase in the credibility of the thermal/optical analysis method or delineation of its range of applicability. We will also develop new analysis procedures that can be applied to large existing databases. These results will lead to a greater understanding of the types of carbonaceous particles in the atmosphere, the sources of carbonaceous particles, and their impacts on global climate. This understanding will contribute to a more cost-effective allocation of state environmental protection resources by identifying properties and sources of the particles with the greatest impact on air quality and climate.