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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320865

Research Project: Enhancing the Quality, Utility, Sustainability and Environmental Impact of Western and Long-Staple Cotton through Improvements in Harvesting, Processing, and Utilization

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Title: Should particle size analysis data be combined with EPA approved sampling method data in the development of AP-42 emission factors?

item Whitelock, Derek
item Wanjura, John

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/27/2015
Publication Date: 8/27/2015
Citation: Moore, T.W., Buser, M.D., Whitelock, D.P., Hamilton, D.W., Wanjura, J.D. 2015. Should particle size analysis data be combined with EPA approved sampling method data in the development of AP-42 emission factors?. ASABE Annual International Meeting, July 26-29, 2015, New Orleans, LA. Paper No. 15290969.

Interpretive Summary: To comply with the air quality standards, regulatory agencies use emission factors in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) AP-42 “Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors” to develop facility construction and operating permits. Emission factors in AP-42 for particles 10 micrometers and smaller (PM10) have not been updated since 1996 and have very poor quality ratings of “D”. Also, there are no AP-42 emission factors for particles 2.5 micrometers and smaller (PM2.5). This study focused on determining whether particle size distribution data collected for an industry-supported project should be combined with data collected with EPA-approved methods, and, then, used with new EPA emission factor development and quality rating procedures to develop new emission factors for cotton gins. With the new procedures, more data points can greatly improve the quality of the emission factors. When combined, no outliers were found and the emission factors were more than 50% lower than those developed with data from only EPA-approved methods. Better, more representative emission factors will ensure that the U.S. ginning industry is more equitably regulated in the future.

Technical Abstract: A cotton ginning industry-supported project was initiated in 2008 and completed in 2013 to collect additional data for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Compilation of Air Pollution Emission Factors (AP-42) for PM10 and PM2.5. Stack emissions were collected using particle size distribution analysis (PSD), a non-approved EPA sampling method, on samples collected using EPA’s Method 17. This study focused on determining whether PSD data collected by the industry-supported project (hereafter referred to as “National Study”) should be combined with data collected with EPA-approved methods using EPA’s 2013 Emission Factor Development Procedures. When compared to emissions factor developed from the National Study EPA-approved methods, emission factors developed from PSD data were an average 49.3% lower for PM10 and 75.2% for PM2.5 for the 17 ginning systems tested. However, when the datasets were combined, no test runs or method averages were found to be outliers. This indicates that the datasets should be combined for emission factor development.