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Project Number:
Improving the Modeling of Wildfire Impacts on Ozone and Particulate Matter for Texas Air Quality Planning
Lead PI:
Matthew Alvarado
Institution(s) Represented:
Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. - Matthew Alvarado
AQRP Project Manager:
Elena McDonald-Buller
TCEQ Project Liaison:
Erik Gribbin
Awarded Amount:

Fires can have a large impact on ozone and particulate matter concentrations, and thus air quality, in Texas. Current air quality models (also called chemical transport models) take estimates of the primary emissions from biomass burning (such as forest and grass fires) and unphysically dilute them, which can lead to incorrect estimates of the impact of biomass burning on air quality. Smaller scale models like AER's Aerosol Simulation Program allow us to examine the chemical and physical transformations of trace gases and aerosols within biomass burning plumes and to develop new methods for accurately including this aging process in standard air quality models. In this project, we will improve our understanding of the impacts of local and out-of-state fires on air quality in Texas by implementing an improved approach for modeling the near-source chemistry of biomass burning plumes into the CAMx (Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions) model used in Texas air quality planning. This improved approach will allow CAMx to better represent the impact of forest and grass fires on air pollutants such as ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). We will also investigate the impact that long-range transport of wildfire smoke has on air quality in Texas. This project thus addresses two strategic topics of the Texas Air Quality Research Program: "Improving the understanding of ozone and particulate matter (PM) formation [and] the interactions of ozone and PM precursors" and "Investigating global, international, and regional transport of pollutants using data and modeling analyses."

Work Plan:
Technical Report(s):
Final Report: