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The Shell Center for Sustainability's mission is to foster an interdisciplinary program of research, outreach, and education to address actions that can be taken to ensure the sustainable development of communities' living standards, interpreted broadly, to encompass all factors affecting the overall quality of life.


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

 Robert Griffin 
Dr. Robert Griffin
 Kabindra Man Shakya 
Kabindra Man Shakya
 Daewon Byun
 Dr. Daewon Byun
Project Background

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 Houston atmosphere.

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