Main Information Page for

DEVELOPMENT OF A NEXT-GENERATION ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMBER FACILITY FOR CHEMICAL MECHANISM AND VOC REACTIVITY RESEARCH

Updated September 14, 2005

Principal Investigator
William P. L. Carter
CE-CERT, University of California, Riverside

U.S. EPA Cooperative Agreement CR-827331-01-0
Project Officer: Deborah Luecken

Summary of Current Status

The objective this EPA-funded project is to develop an environmental chamber facility that is needed for studies of photochemical air pollution formation under more realistic conditions and with more comprehensive measurements than previously has been possible. This facility will then be employed for evaluating gas-phase and gas-to-particle atmospheric reaction mechanisms, for determining how best to use ambient measurement data for predicting effects of control strategies, and for evaluating the reliability of ambient measurement instrumentation.

The project was initiated in late 1999, the design and construction of the facility was completed in early 2003, and initial characterization and mechanism evaluation experiments are now complete, and research utilizing the chamber is now underway, and reports describing completed research projects have been completed, and a journal article describing the chamber has been submitted for publication in Atmospheric Environment. Available documentation giving proposals, reports, and presentations concerning utilization of this chamber is also given below. A brief timeline for utilization of this chamber is given in the following table.
 

Time Status or Activity
1999-2002  Workshop, design, construction, initial evaluation, problem resolution
Jan 2003 First experiment in current dual-chamber configuration
Jan - Mar 2003 Characterization runs and low NOx runs on simple chemical systems
Feb 2003 (& ongoing) PM Instrumentation on line. Begin ongoing blacklight PM experiments
Mar 2003 Initial characterization completed
Mar Jun 2003 Surrogate runs to assess base case for reactivity experiments (EPA, CARB) 
Apr 2003 Surrogate runs for low NOx mechanism evaluation (CARB)
Jun Aug 2003 Incremental reactivity experiments for selected petroleum distillates (CARB)
Sep Oct 2003 Surrogate runs with enhanced measurements for EPA OBM study (CARB)
Nov 2003 Begin Texanol® reactivity evaluation (CARB)
May 2004 Report prepared giving results of mechanism evaluations against first set of experiments in this chamber.
Jan. 2005 Journal article describing this chamber submitted for publication in Atmospheric Environment.
March. 2005 Final Report completed giving the results of the CARB-funded coatings reactivity project that included experiments in this chamber.
May, 2005 "Impact of the Hydrocarbon to NOx Ratio on Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation", by Chen Song, Kwangsam Na, and David R. Cocker, III published in Environmental Science and Technology. (Environ. Sci. Technol.2005, 39,3143-3149)  The experiments discussed in this paper were carried out in this chamber, and demonstrate its utility for PM studies.
July 2005 Final Report completed giving the results of the SCAQMD-funded coatings reactivity project that included experiments in this chamber. This report also discusses results of PM formation measurements for solvent compounds studied for this and the CARB coatings reactivity project. (Finalized and made available in September)
September 2005 Journal article describing this chamber accepted for publication in Atmospheric Environment. (Please contact me if you are interested in seeing the in-press manuscript).
October, 2005 CARB-funded project "Investigation of Atmospheric Ozone Impacts of Selected Pesticides" is expected to begin.

A research plan for use of the facility for priority research has been developed and was reviewed by the U.S. EPA and the Reactivity Research Working Group. Updates to the research plan are given in later reports. Some funding to implement portions of this research plan is being provided by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the EPA, and the California South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), but additional funding will be needed to fully implement the research plan and utilize the facility to its full potential.
 

Diagram of Chamber in Current Configuration

Available Documents and Additional Information
 

Date Added Description and Link
September 14, 2005 Final report to the EPA titled ""Development of a Next-Generation Environmental Chamber Facility for Chemical Mechanism and VOC Reactivity Evaluation," June 27, 2005. (PDF) (Word)
September 13, 2005 Final report to the SCAQMD titled "Environmental Chamber Studies of VOC Species in Architectural Coatings and Mobile Source Emissions", dated July 5, 2005. (PDF) (Word)
September 13, 2005 Proposal to the CARB titled "Investigation of Atmospheric Ozone Impacts of Selected Pesticides" (dated October, 2004). This project is expected to begin in October, 2005. (PDF)
March. 21, 2005 Final report to the CARB titled "Evaluation of Atmospheric Impacts of Selected Coatings VOC Emissions." This includes results of experiments using selected solvents using this chamber. (PDF) (Word)
June 17, 2004 Proposal for CARB project "Updated Chemical Mechanisms for Airshed Model Applications", which is now underway (CARB contract no.03-318). The major tasks involve updating and improving the SAPRC-99 mechanism, but the project includes a limited number of experiments in this chamber to support this effort. (PDF)
May 25, 2004 Draft presentation slides for CARB research seminar on the project "Evaluation of a Gas-Phase Atmospheric Reaction Mechanism for Low NOx Conditions," including a discussion of the results of the evaluation using data from this chamber. (Power Point) (PDF "handouts")
May 5, 2004 Final Report to the CARB titled "Evaluation of a Gas-Phase Atmospheric Reaction Mechanism for Low NOx Conditions" (PDF) (Word). This includes a discussion of the methods and procedure and results for the first series of experiments used for mechanism evaluation (carried out in January through August of 2003), and gives the results of evaluations of the SAPRC-99 mechanism ujsing these data. Dated May 5.
May 5, 2004 Periodic progress report to the CARB on the coatings reactivity project (PDF). Summarizes experiments carried out in the chamber from September 16, 2003 through February 15, 2004. Dated April 27, 2004 
Dec. 18, 2003 Periodic progress report to the CARB on the coatings reactivity project (PDF). Summarizes experiments carried out in the chamber from March 18 through September 15, 2003.
Dec. 11, 2003 Poster Presentations about the chamber and chamber research given at the Gordon Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry, Big Sky Resort, Montana, September 7-12, 2003.
  • "A New Environmental Chamber Facility for Atmospheric Chemical Mechanism Evaluation" (PDF)
  • "Evaluation of the SAPRC-99 Chemical Mechanism Using New Environmental Chamber Data" (PDF)
  • July 17, 2003 Presentation overheads for update on the UCR EPA chamber program that was presented at the RRWG meeting on July 10 (PDF). This gives a very brief summary of the progress to and results to date, current and upoming funding, and potential future research directions.
    July 17, 2003 Proposal to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency titled "Experimental Evaluation of Observation Based Methods for Assessing the Sensitivity of Ozone to VOC and NOx" (PDF). This proposal, which has since been funded, covers conducted chamber experiments with emphasis on measurementes of indictor species and radicals. William H. Brune of Penn State University is collaborating by conducting radical measurements using laser induced fluorescence methods.
    June 10, 2003 Proposal to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to conduct chamber studies of architectural coatings and mobile source VOCs (PDF) (Word). This proposal, dated May 2, 2003, includes base case asssessment experiments and PM measurements to supplement the CARB study of architectural coatings VOCs, as well as studies of additional classes of VOCs not covered by current projects, and a preliminary evaluation of the potential utility of the chamber for availability studies. The SCAQMD board authorized the SCAQMD Chairman to execute this contract, and the statement of work is now undergoing administrative review. The funding requested is approximately $200K. This project is expected to be funded by the end of July.
    June 10, 2003 Progress report on the CARB coatings project including a description of the characterization results for the chamber up to March 26, 2003 (PDF) (Word). 
    March 4, 2003 Summary of Progress and Current Status as of February 20, 2003 (PDF) (Word). Gives a brief  summary the progress since the period of the previous report, a discussion of the revised work plan, and updates the current funding situation. Results of the initial characterization and mechanism evaluation experiments and preliminary analysis and modeling of the experimentgs are briefly summarized. Future research initiatives that may be explored to obtain additional projects for the facility are briefly discussed.
    August 20, 2002
     

     

    Summary of Progress and Current Status as of August 20, 2002 (PDF) (Word). Gives a brief overview of the accomplishments of the program to date, with the progress since the period of the first progress report being summarized in more detail. A discussion of the current funding situation is also included.

    Executive Summary of Progress and Current Status of the project (PDF) (Word). Gives a brief overview of the purpose and accomplishments of this project for a non-technical audience, for the purpose of supporting requests for additional Federal funding for this project.

    Proposal Entitled "Chamber Investigation of Radical Budget and Oxidant Photochemistry for Improved Air Pollution Inventories in the South Coast Air Basin" (PDF). This proposal to the California South Coast Air Quality Management District requests funding radical measurement instrumentation needed to take full advantage of this facility to evaluate mechanisms and observation-based methods for determining sensitivity of ozone and PM to VOC and NOx emissions.
     

    May, 2002
     

     

    Draft Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) (PDF) (Word). This is intended to satisfy in part the quality assurance requirements of EPA and NARSTO for experimental projects, and is currently being reviewed by the EPA.

    Appendix A to QAPP on Standard Procedures for Conducting Experiments (PDF) (Word). Describes in some detail the standard procedures for carrying out chamber experiments for this project once the facility is complete and fully operational. This is a draft that is still undergoing review, and is subject to revision.

    Appendix B to QAPP on Data Processing Procedures (PDF) (Word). Describes the data processing procedures for the experiments for this project in some detail. Most of these procedures have been implemented and are being used for the ongoing evaluation experiments. However, this is a draft that is still undergoing review, and is subject to revision.
     

    January, 2002 Draft Research Plan and First Progress Report covering period from July 1, 1999 through October, 2001 (PDF) (Word). Describes the progress on the project through October, 2001 in detail. Gives the draft research plan that is currently being reviewed by the RRWG

    Comments on Progress Report by Dr. Ken Sexton of the University of North Carolina (HTML) Gives a peer review of the progress report and research plan.

    Slides for Presentation at the January 16-18, 2000 RRWG Meeting (PDF). Gives the presentation at a previous RRWG meeting summarizing the progress to date and the draft research plan.
     

    October, 1999 Summary of Presentations at the US-German - Environmental Chamber Workshop carried out in Riverside, California as part of the planning for this project (HTML)
    February, 1999 Original Project Proposal (PDF) (HTML). Gives the project description as originally envisioned, the proposed approach, etc.
    (The free Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to read and print PDF files)

    Related Links

  • William P. L. Carter's Home Page
  • Reactivity Research Working Group (RRWG) and Carter's RRWG Page
  • Carter's CARB Coatings Research Page
  • CARB's Reactivity Research Advisory Committee (RRAC) Page
  • College of Engineering, Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT)

  • Contact Information


    Principal Investigator
    Dr. William P. L. Carter
    Research Chemist
    Air Pollution Research Center and
    College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT)
    Mailing Address:
    CE-CERT
    University of California
    Riverside CA 92521
    Phone (951) 781-5797
    Fax (951) 781-5790
    Email: carter@cert.ucr.edu

    EPA Project Officer
    Dr. Deborah J. Luecken
    NERL/RTP
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Mailing Address:
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    MD-84
    Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
    Phone (919) 541-0244
    Fax (919) 541-4787
    Email: Luecken.Deborah@epamail.epa.gov

    Collaborator on PM Research
    Dr. David R. Cocker III
    Assistant Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
    UCR College of Engineering and CE-CERT
    Mailing Address:
    CE-CERT
    University of California
    Riverside CA 92521
    Phone (951) 781-5695
    Email: dcocker@cert.ucr.edu

    Last updated September 14, 2005