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Biosolids Co-composting VOCs – Do They Lead to Ozone Formation?

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Agencies in regions with severe air quality challenges, such as California's San Joaquin Valley (SJV), have raised concerns about volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from complex sources which are suspected to contribute to persistent high levels of ground-level ozone formation. Agricultural and composting sources are prime examples of sources involving complex biology and chemistry that have recently come under scrutiny. The goal of our series of studies is to characterize the mixture of VOCs with a sufficient variety of techniques in order to assess their ozone formation potential (OFP). By matching short-term OFP in the field (with a mobile ozone chamber) to photo-chemical model calculations, we can assert that our speciation of VOCs is relatively complete with respect to ozone formation. This approach has been applied to orchards receiving solvent-based pesticide spraying1,2, livestock and poultry (with their fresh waste)3,4, animal feeds5,7, green waste compost6,8 and biosolid co-composting.

Keywords: Ozone; agriculture; reactive organic gases; smog chamber; volatile organic compounds

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-01-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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