Project

Emission models for fugitive particulate matter towards an online emission inventory for the Middle East Area

Goal: Duration: 2015-2018

Partners: Texas A&M (Qatar), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), University of Surrey (UK)

Summary
The Middle East Area (MEA) is highly affected by air pollution induced by anthropogenic and natural sources. There is evidence that airborne particulate matter (PM) greatly affects human health including causing premature death. Many studies have documented the high concentration of fugitive PM and their effects on air quality not just around industrial and construction areas but also in the workplace and living environments. Therefore, Air Quality Management (AQM), and consecutively the study of air quality, emerges as of one of the most important goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030. The cornerstone of every AQM system is an emission inventory, but these are currently available only for the European and North American domains, calling an immediate need to develop similar knowledge for the MEA. These inventories incorporate fugitive PM emissions caused by wind shear, material transfer processes or other mechanical processes such as agriculture, road traffic, construction and industrial activities – these also include PM originated by natural sources like windblown dust and sea salt. However, fugitive PM emissions in the North American inventory are known to be poorly characterized. Similarly, this category is not properly covered in the European inventories. As a result, these inventories cannot be seen as fully reliable for other areas with hot and arid climate such as in Qatar (or MEA in general). Moreover, recent studies in the wider MEA note the lack of an emission inventory and emphasizes a need to develop understanding of the local physico-chemical characteristics and sources of PM. The aim of this project is to study fugitive PM emissions, improve existing emission models and develop new ones in order to construct an emission inventory for the MEA domain, dominated by the fugitive PM. Our recent review highlighted the three source categories to be investigated in this project: natural sources (sea salt, wind-blown dust), construction sector (building, recycling and demolition) and road traffic (break, street surface and tire abrasion and dust resuspension). Therefore this project will include field studies, lab work and emission modeling to adequately understand the behavior of fugitive PM sources and their impact on public health. Two field studies, for construction activities and traffic sources, will collect source related information and atmospheric measurements of ambient size-resolved PM. Chemical characterization of the collected PM samples during these field studies, together with the use of receptor models, will accomplish the source apportionment and contribution by individual PM sources. Finally, the developed online emission inventory will provide essential background information for use in the AQM systems – dispersion models – and will be one of the most useful tools for the development of abatement strategies and policies on the local (Qatar) as well as wider (MEA) scale.

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Project log

Prashant Kumar
added a research item
This thesis and the work to which it refers are the results of my own efforts. Any ideas, data, images or text resulting from the work of others (whether published or unpublished) are fully identified as such within the work and attributed to their originator in the text, bibliography or in footnotes. This thesis has not been submitted in whole or in part for any other academic degree or professional qualification. I agree that the University has the right to submit my work to the plagiarism detection service Turnitin UK for originality checks. Whether or not drafts have been so-assessed, the University reserves the right to require an electronic version of the final document (as submitted) for assessment as above. Abstract There is substantial evidence that airborne particulate matter (PM) contributes to haze, acid rain, global climate change, and decreased life expectancy. Many recent studies have reported that a large fraction of airborne PM could be attributed to fugitive PM (fPM). The developing arid and semi-arid regions, in particular, are facing the biggest brunt of fPM usually ascribed to the regionally transported dust. On the other hand, the rapid expansion of their metropolitan cities is contributing a considerable amount of locally induced fPM which makes it a prominent environmental and health stressor in these areas. Based on field measurements and dispersion modelling, this thesis aims to: (i) measure fPM from two common sources (loose soils and non-exhaust traffic) in areas with arid desert climates, (ii) derive representative emission models, and (iii) assess their overall environmental and health impacts. For this thesis, on site measurements and samples of PM (<10 µm diameter) were collected. Source apportionment was performed to determine the contributions of individual sources. Dispersion modelling and regression analysis were used to derive emission models for loose Calcisols (a prominent soil in the subject areas) and vehicle-induced fPM (VfPM). Finally, our derived models were used along with the state-of-the-art practices (i.e., regional emission models and the World Health Organization's (WHO) Environmental Burden of Disease (EBD) method) to determine the environmental and health impacts of local fPM. Several important findings were extracted from the above analysis: (i) fPM from different origins contribute more than 60% of the urban PM in arid areas, (ii) power law emission models with wind speed dependence were derived for loose Calcisols soil, (iii) emission factors were derived for VfPM using linear regression and were close to values reported in USA, (iv) EBD estimates found that fPM may lead to ~ 11.0 times higher short-term excess mortalities compared to constant database measurements. 4
Prashant Kumar
added a research item
This review assesses the current state of air pollution in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Emission types and sources in the region are identified and quantified to understand the monitoring, legislative and reduction need through a systematic review of available literature. It is found that both health (e.g., particulate matter, PM, and heavy metals) and climate change (e.g., carbon dioxide and methane) emissions are increasing with the time. Regarding health emissions, over 99% of the MENA population is exposed to PM levels that exceed the standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO). The dominant source of climate change emissions is the energy sector contributing ~38% of CO2 emissions, followed by the transport sector at ~25%. Numerous studies have been carried out on air pollution in the region, however, there is a lack of comprehensive regional studies that would provide a holistic assessment. Most countries have air quality monitoring systems in place, however, the data is not effectively evaluated to devise pollution reduction strategies. Moreover, comprehensive emission inventories for the individual countries in the region are also lacking. The legislative and regulatory systems in MENA region follow the standards set by international environmental entities such as the WHO and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency but their effective reinforcement remains a concern. It is concluded that the opportunities for emission reduction and control could be best implemented in the road transportation sector using innovative technologies. One of the potential ways forward is to channel finance flows from fossil fuel subsidies to upgrade road transport with public transportation systems such as buses and trains, as suggested by a ‘high shift’ scenario for MENA region. Furthermore, emission control programs and technologies are more effective when sponsored and implemented by the private sector; the success of Saudi Aramco in supporting national emission monitoring is one such example. Finally, an energy-pollution-water nexus is assessed for the region as an integrated approach to address urban issues. The assessment of topic areas covered clearly suggest a need to control the main sources of air pollution to limit its relatively high impact on the human health in the MENA region.
Prashant Kumar
added a research item
This chapter discusses the emission, transformation, and fate of incidental airborne nanoparticles. It starts with the up-to-date summary of recent review articles covering various aspects of both the incidental nanoparticles and ENPs. Transformation processes play an important role in influencing the characteristics of nanoparticles both spatially and temporally. A common method to represent the atmospheric size distributions of atmospheric particles is through various modes. A typical size distribution in atmospheric environments shows the presence of the following modes:nucleation, Aitken, accumulation, and coarse. Nucleation mode particles are those generally formed by the gas-to-particle conversion after rapid cooling and dilution of exhaust emissions. Understanding the different transformation processes (i.e., nucleation, coagulation, condensation, evaporation, and dry deposition) is important in order to study the temporal and spatial changes occurring to nanoparticles in the atmospheric environment. The detection of ENP concentrations is necessary for determining human exposure in both the indoor factory environment and ambient non-workplace atmosphere.
Prashant Kumar
added a project goal
Duration: 2015-2018
Partners: Texas A&M (Qatar), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), University of Surrey (UK)
Summary
The Middle East Area (MEA) is highly affected by air pollution induced by anthropogenic and natural sources. There is evidence that airborne particulate matter (PM) greatly affects human health including causing premature death. Many studies have documented the high concentration of fugitive PM and their effects on air quality not just around industrial and construction areas but also in the workplace and living environments. Therefore, Air Quality Management (AQM), and consecutively the study of air quality, emerges as of one of the most important goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030. The cornerstone of every AQM system is an emission inventory, but these are currently available only for the European and North American domains, calling an immediate need to develop similar knowledge for the MEA. These inventories incorporate fugitive PM emissions caused by wind shear, material transfer processes or other mechanical processes such as agriculture, road traffic, construction and industrial activities – these also include PM originated by natural sources like windblown dust and sea salt. However, fugitive PM emissions in the North American inventory are known to be poorly characterized. Similarly, this category is not properly covered in the European inventories. As a result, these inventories cannot be seen as fully reliable for other areas with hot and arid climate such as in Qatar (or MEA in general). Moreover, recent studies in the wider MEA note the lack of an emission inventory and emphasizes a need to develop understanding of the local physico-chemical characteristics and sources of PM. The aim of this project is to study fugitive PM emissions, improve existing emission models and develop new ones in order to construct an emission inventory for the MEA domain, dominated by the fugitive PM. Our recent review highlighted the three source categories to be investigated in this project: natural sources (sea salt, wind-blown dust), construction sector (building, recycling and demolition) and road traffic (break, street surface and tire abrasion and dust resuspension). Therefore this project will include field studies, lab work and emission modeling to adequately understand the behavior of fugitive PM sources and their impact on public health. Two field studies, for construction activities and traffic sources, will collect source related information and atmospheric measurements of ambient size-resolved PM. Chemical characterization of the collected PM samples during these field studies, together with the use of receptor models, will accomplish the source apportionment and contribution by individual PM sources. Finally, the developed online emission inventory will provide essential background information for use in the AQM systems – dispersion models – and will be one of the most useful tools for the development of abatement strategies and policies on the local (Qatar) as well as wider (MEA) scale.