Wood, Ezra

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Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Sciences
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Environmental Public Health
Atmospheric Chemistry
Outdoor/Indoor Air Pollution
Dr. Wood’s research focuses on quantifying emissions, concentrations, and atmospheric transformations of airborne pollutants. Pollutants of interest include nitrogen oxides, ozone, peroxy radicals, organic nitrates, and secondary organic aerosol (particulate matter). Dr. Wood is developing new sensors (based on cavity attenuated phase shift spectroscopy) for the detection of several trace gases for use in both chamber studies and ambient measurements.

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Investigation of the correlation between odd oxygen and secondary organic aerosol in Mexico City and Houston
    (2010-01-01) Wood, Ezra; Canagaratna, M.; Herndon, S.; Kroll, J.; Onasch, T.; Kolb, C.; Worsnop, D.; Knighton, W.; Seila, R.; Zavala, M.; Molina, L.; DeCarlo, P.; Jimenez, J.; Weinheimer, A.; Knapp, D.; Jobson, B.; Stutz, J.; Kuster, W.; Williams, E.
    Many recent models underpredict secondary organic aerosol (SOA) particulate matter (PM) concentrations in polluted regions, indicating serious deficiencies in the models' chemical mechanisms and/or missing SOA precursors. Since tropospheric photochemical ozone production is much better understood, we investigate the correlation of odd-oxygen ([Ox]≡[O3]+[NO2]) and the oxygenated component of organic aerosol (OOA), which is interpreted as a surrogate for SOA. OOA and Ox measured in Mexico City in 2006 and Houston in 2000 were well correlated in air masses where both species were formed on similar timescales (less than 8 h) and not well correlated when their formation timescales or location differed greatly. When correlated, the ratio of these two species ranged from 30 μg m−3/ppm (STP) in Houston during time periods affected by large petrochemical plant emissions to as high as 160 μg m−3/ppm in Mexico City, where typical values were near 120 μg m−3/ppm. On several days in Mexico City, the [OOA]/[Ox] ratio decreased by a factor of ~2 between 08:00 and 13:00 local time. This decrease is only partially attributable to evaporation of the least oxidized and most volatile components of OOA; differences in the diurnal emission trends and timescales for photochemical processing of SOA precursors compared to ozone precursors also likely contribute to the observed decrease. The extent of OOA oxidation increased with photochemical aging. Calculations of the ratio of the SOA formation rate to the Ox production rate using ambient VOC measurements and traditional laboratory SOA yields are lower than the observed [OOA]/[Ox] ratios by factors of 5 to 15, consistent with several other models' underestimates of SOA. Calculations of this ratio using emission factors for organic compounds from gasoline and diesel exhaust do not reproduce the observed ratio. Although not succesful in reproducing the atmospheric observations presented, modeling P(SOA)/P(Ox) can serve as a useful test of photochemical models using improved formulation mechanisms for SOA.
  • Publication
    Application of quantum cascade lasers to high-precision atmospheric trace gas measurements
    (2010-01-01) Wood, Ezra; McManus, J. Barry; Zahniser, Mark; Nelson, David; Shorter, Joanne; Herndon, Scott; Wehr, Rick
    We review our recent results in development of high-precision laser spectroscopic instrumentation using midinfrared quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). Some of these instruments have been directed at measurements of atmospheric trace gases where a fractional precision of 10−3 or better of ambient concentration may be required. Such high precision is needed in measurements of fluxes of stable atmospheric gases and measurements of isotopic ratios. Instruments that are based on thermoelectrically cooled midinfrared QCLs and thermoelectrically cooled detectors have been demonstrated that meet the requirements of high-precision atmospheric measurements, without the need for cryogens. We also describe the design of and results from a new dual QCL instrument with a 200-m path-length absorption cell. This instrument has demonstrated 1-s noise of 32 ppt for formaldehyde (HCHO) and 9 ppt for carbonyl sulfide (OCS).
  • Publication
    Short-term variation in near-highway air pollutant gradients on a winter morning
    (2010-01-01) Durant, J.; Ash, C.; Wood, Ezra; Herndon, S.; Jayne, J.; Knighton, W.; Canagaratna, M.; Trull, J.; Brugge, D.; Zamore, W.; Kolb, C.
    Quantification of exposure to traffic-related air pollutants near highways is hampered by incomplete knowledge of the scales of temporal variation of pollutant gradients. The goal of this study was to characterize short-term temporal variation of vehicular pollutant gradients within 200–400 m of a major highway (>150 000 vehicles/d). Monitoring was done near Interstate 93 in Somerville (Massachusetts) from 06:00 to 11:00 on 16 January 2008 using a mobile monitoring platform equipped with instruments that measured ultrafine and fine particles (6–1000 nm, particle number concentration (PNC)); particle-phase (>30 nm) equation M1, equation M2, and organic compounds; volatile organic compounds (VOCs); and CO2, NO, NO2, and O3. We observed rapid changes in pollutant gradients due to variations in highway traffic flow rate, wind speed, and surface boundary layer height. Before sunrise and peak traffic flow rates, downwind concentrations of particles, CO2, NO, and NO2 were highest within 100–250 m of the highway. After sunrise pollutant levels declined sharply (e.g., PNC and NO were more than halved) and the gradients became less pronounced as wind speed increased and the surface boundary layer rose allowing mixing with cleaner air aloft. The levels of aromatic VOCs and equation M3, equation M4 and organic aerosols were generally low throughout the morning, and their spatial and temporal variations were less pronounced compared to PNC and NO. O3 levels increased throughout the morning due to mixing with O3-enriched air aloft and were generally lowest near the highway reflecting reaction with NO. There was little if any evolution in the size distribution of 6–225 nm particles with distance from the highway. These results suggest that to improve the accuracy of exposure estimates to near-highway pollutants, short-term (e.g., hourly) temporal variations in pollutant gradients must be measured to reflect changes in traffic patterns and local meteorology.
  • Publication
    Application of positive matrix factorization to on-road measurements for source apportionment of diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicle emissions in Mexico City
    (2010-01-01) Thornhill, D.; Williams, A.; Onasch, T.; Wood, Ezra; Herndon, S.; Kolb, C.; Knighton, W.; Zavala, M.; Molina, L.; Marr, L.
    The goal of this research is to quantify diesel- and gasoline-powered motor vehicle emissions within the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) using on-road measurements captured by a mobile laboratory combined with positive matrix factorization (PMF) receptor modeling. During the MCMA-2006 ground-based component of the MILAGRO field campaign, the Aerodyne Mobile Laboratory (AML) measured many gaseous and particulate pollutants, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), benzene, toluene, alkylated aromatics, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, ammonia, particle number, fine particulate mass (PM2.5), and black carbon (BC). These serve as inputs to the receptor model, which is able to resolve three factors corresponding to gasoline engine exhaust, diesel engine exhaust, and the urban background. Using the source profiles, we calculate fuel-based emission factors for each type of exhaust. The MCMA's gasoline-powered vehicles are considerably dirtier, on average, than those in the US with respect to CO and aldehydes. Its diesel-powered vehicles have similar emission factors of NOx and higher emission factors of aldehydes, particle number, and BC. In the fleet sampled during AML driving, gasoline-powered vehicles are found to be responsible for 97% of total vehicular emissions of CO, 22% of NOx, 95–97% of each aromatic species, 72–85% of each carbonyl species, 74% of ammonia, negligible amounts of particle number, 26% of PM2.5, and 2% of BC; diesel-powered vehicles account for the balance. Because the mobile lab spent 17% of its time waiting at stoplights, the results may overemphasize idling conditions, possibly resulting in an underestimate of NOx and overestimate of CO emissions. On the other hand, estimates of the inventory that do not correctly account for emissions during idling are likely to produce bias in the opposite direction.The resulting fuel-based estimates of emissions are lower than in the official inventory for CO and NOx and higher for VOCs. For NOx, the fuel-based estimates are lower for gasoline-powered vehicles but higher for diesel-powered ones compared to the official inventory. While conclusions regarding the inventory should be interpreted with care because of the small sample size, 3.5 h of driving, the discrepancies with the official inventory agree with those reported in other studies.