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January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Civil Engineering

PI: Julian Marshall

Impacts of Emission Changes on Atmospheric Concentrations and Pollutant Exposures

The objective of this research is to quantify the changes in atmospheric pollutant concentrations and exposure that result from decreasing emissions of a variety of pollutants. The researchers are currently studying this through two different projects. 

The first project uses an air quality model coupled with a detailed exposure model to quantify source-receptor relationships in order to elucidate emission reductions strategies that target emission sources having the greatest impact on exposures and environmental justice in Los Angeles, California. The researchers hypothesize that exposure impacts of a given emission reduction strategy vary significantly among source categories, locations within an urban area, and times of day. The anticipated results include a better understanding of intake fraction across source categories, spatial location and environmental justice metrics along with development of a set of methods and exposure indicators that could usefully be applied to other urban areas. 

The second project studies the impacts of the production and use of biofuels (from many different sources) compared to traditional fuels on atmospheric pollutant concentrations and population exposures. This project uses the same air quality model as in the first project to study the changes in atmospheric pollutant concentrations resulting from the production and use of biofuels from a number of different sources for both transportation and electricity generation. The group studies the health effects and environmental justice impacts of O3 and PM2.5 air pollution. The results will provide new knowledge about the costs, benefits, and tradeoffs in GHG emissions and air quality that may occur by switching fuel production from conventional fossil fuels to biofuels.

Group Members

Matthew Bechle, Undergraduate Student
Nicholas Boeke, Graduate Student
Adam Both, Graduate Student
Liang Chow, Undergraduate Student
Kathryn Lundquist, Graduate Student
Chris Tessum, Graduate Student
Kristina Wagstrom, Research Associate