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Posts Tagged ‘Air Pollutants’

Air Emissions from Industrial Diesel Engines now Regulated by EPA

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Industrial Diesel EngineThe EPA aims to reduce air emissions from certain stationary diesel engines and issued their first standards on February 17, 2010. The rule will help reduce formaldehyde, benzene, acrolein and other toxic air pollutants from diesel powered stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE), also known as compression ignition (CI) engines. The toxic air pollutants, also referred to as hazardous air pollutants or air toxics, are suspected of causing cancer and other serious health effects as well as environmental damage.

EPA estimates that the rule will reduce annual toxic air emissions by 1,000 tons, particle pollution by 2,800 tons, carbon monoxide emissions by 14,000 tons, and organic compound emissions by 27,000 tons when fully implemented in 2013.

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Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC) Measurement for LEED/Green Building Evaluation

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

LEED Testing

Background

Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) may be evaluated when building designers/managers are pursuing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System for New Construction (LEED-NC) EQ Credit 3.2. The latest LEED-NC guidance document specifies that the maximum allowed concentration of TVOC measured in a building (post construction, pre-occupancy) is 500 µg/m3; the guidance also mentions using the sampling/analytical methods in the US EPA Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air. However, none of these sampling and analytical methods address TVOC in particular, and thus the existing methods must be modified. In addition, TVOC is not defined (in terms of boiling point range, etc.) in the latest LEED-NC guidance and therefore is left open for interpretation; historically, many definitions of “TVOC” exist in literature.

For TVOC measurement, the analytical technique used must always reference one compound for calibration purposes. All compounds detected are then assumed to have the same response factor as the calibration compound. For instance, handheld instruments are most often calibrated using isobutylene or methane, and laboratory-based methods may reference TVOC as hexane (C6), toluene, or some other chemical species.

In practice, indoor air quality practitioners may use several different techniques for evaluating TVOC in buildings. Each sampling & analytical method has its own benefits and drawbacks, cost implications, and applicability.

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