UNDERSTANDING MERCURY CHEMISTRY IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF HOUSTON, TEXAS
Understanding Influence and Reaction
Robert J. Griffin, Ph.D., Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University
Kabindra Man Shakya, Graduate Student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University
Daewon Byun, Ph.D., Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Houston
Dr. Robert Griffin
Kabindra Man Shakya
Dr. Daewon Byun
Mercury is a toxic metal that occurs
naturally in the Earth’s crust. However, human activities such as power
generation from coal-burning power plants, industry, and waste
incineration can lead to the transfer of mercury to the atmosphere.
Experiments completed during Summer 2008
indicate that organic particle surfaces alter the rate of conversion
into the atmosphere.
A computational model will be developed
to simulate experimental results to predict the concentration of all
relevant chemical species as a function of time.
When the model is able to simulate it
will be implemented into an air quality model used to predict the
temporal and spatial distribution of air pollution in the Houston area.
The air quality model will then be used to address how an increased
understanding of particle-mercury interactions changes the spatial and
temporal distribution of different forms of mercury in the simulated
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