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Air and Climate Change Research

Models, Methods & Tools

Traceability Protocol for Assay and Certification of Gaseous Calibration Standards: Used to adjust air pollution tools for consistent and reliable monitoring according to NIST standards.

Optimized Noise-Reduction Algorithm (ONA) for the Aethalometer: ONA is a data post-processing tool to reduce noise in real-time Aethalometer black carbon data through variable time averaging of the data. This is a research tool that does not imply EPA endorsement of a commercial product nor a quality review of black carbon data.

MARKAL Technology Database: Application of MARKAL for EPA’s technology and emissions evaluations required the development of technology databases representing the U.S. energy system (EPANMD and EPAUS9r). These technology-rich databases represent the major sectors in the U.S. energy system, including the commercial, industrial, residential, transportation, and electricity generation sectors. The U.S. Department ofEnergy’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) and National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) were used to construct the energy supply, demand, and technology characterizations. Data for technologies not represented in the AEO and NEMS were derived from other widely recognized authoritative sources (e.g. Electric Power Research Institute’s Technical Assessment Guide, Integrated Planning Model (IPM), and Argonne National Laboratory’s Greenhouse Gas, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model.). Using the EPA’s Air Quality and Emissions Trends Report, emissions factors have been added to the technology characterizations.

Two databases have been developed to characterize the evolution of the energy system over a 50 year time horizon in 5 year increments. EPANMD encompasses the entire US as one region. EPAUS9r disaggregates the national database information into the nine Census Divisions. The databases are recalibrated every 2 years to be consistent with the latest AEO report.

These databases are used for integrated technology assessments, “what-if” scenarios, and other systems analysis methodologies to investigate potential greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions. Such assessments could help inform decision makers on varied issues such as global change, energy, and sustainable resources. To aid in interpreting scenario analyses from the MARKAL model, ourresearchers have implemented a variety of modeling tools. These tools provide techniques for evaluating the sensitivity and uncertainty associated with the complexity of the relationships represented in energy system models. A MARKAL tool has also been developed to address the “limitations” associated with optimization models (such as MARKAL) by investigating the solution space near the optimum using a technique called Modeling to Generate Alternatives.

SPECIATE Database: SPECIATE is the EPA's repository of total organic compound (TOC) and particulate matter (PM) speciation profiles of air pollution sources. Among the many uses of speciation data, these source profiles are used to: 1) create speciated emissions inventories for regional haze, particulate matter (PM2.5), and ozone (O3) air quality modeling; 2) estimate hazardous and toxic air pollutant emissions from total PM and TOC primary emissions; 3) provide input to chemical mass balance (CMB) receptor models; and, 4) verify profiles derived from ambient measurements using multivariate receptor models (e.g., factor analysis and positive matrix factorization). The SPECIATE 4.2 replaces SPECIATE 4.0 and SPECIATE 3.2. It includes 5,187 profiles for PM2.5, total organic gases (TOG), and Other Gases profiles. For More Information.

Air and Climate Change Research | Water Research | Ecosystems Restoration Research | Land Research | Technology: Sustainable Technologies Research, Environmental Technology Verification Program (ETV), and Technology Assessments

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