Local aerosol composition before and during the transition from coal-fired power to natural gas

Valerie J. Alstadt, Kevin T. Jansen, Emily Jean E. Ott, Muhammad Bilal Altaf, Miriam Arak Freedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Local aerosol composition impacts human health, as toxicity depends on particle concentration, composition, and size. We have thus studied local aerosol composition in University Park, PA from September–November of 2014 and 2015 to determine the composition and morphology of ambient particles using Transmission Electron Microscopy. In particular, we explored how local aerosol composition is affected as local and regional power plants converted from coal to natural gas consumption. Our results indicate a decline in the fraction of fractal particles (soot and fly ash) from 2014 to 2015 due to the conversion of the local power plants. Since fly ash and soot are often associated with hazardous substances such as heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, decreases in these particle types suggest a trend that could benefit human health at the local level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume190
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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