Wharton Business Radio Discussion of Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas

Knowledge@Wharton a radio show from Wharton Business Radio did a piece a couple weeks ago in which Dr DeCarlo was one of the guests on the show along with Ramon Alvarez, Sean Wright, two authors from the recent science paper  Assessment of methane emissions from the U.S. oil and gas supply chain, the radio show discusses the issues surrounding methane leakage from oil and gas infrastructure.  Some key points:

  • Leakage of methane is 60% higher than EPA estimates 
  • Climate impacts from leakage essentially erase climate benefit of natural gas power production vs coal power production
    • Note: nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro do not emit CO2 for power generation
  • Cost of leaked methane is $2B
  • Climate cost of leaked methane is ~$13B (at $1000 per ton Social Cost of Carbon)
  • At this time States have a roll to play in enacting regulations to reduce methane leakage
    • Federal legislation is unlikely at this time.

Important note (not in the radio show): Natural gas is a fossil fuel, and we collectively should focus our efforts on transitioning away from ALL fossil fuels to lessen the impact of climate change on our planet. 

Radio interview here: 8/1/2018 Knowledge@Wharton

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Dr. DeCarlo gets early career research award from College of Engineering

Dr. DeCarlo was recently awarded the “Outstanding Early Career Research Achievement Award” from the College of Engineering.  It’s always an honor to have the work of the group recognized at the college level.  Read more here:


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Erin Katz receives 2 awards from Chemistry Department!

At the annual College of Arts and Sciences Award Ceremony, Erin Katz was the recipient of 2 awards from the Department of Chemistry.  Great to see all your hard work recognized.  Congratulations Erin!IMG 3336

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Ben Werden receives Koerner Family Award

Ben Werden was awarded the Koerner Family Award in 2018 as the representative from the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department.  This award recognizes the importance and quality of Ben’s graduate work.  Congratulations Ben!

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Third-hand smoke paper published in Science Advances

The DeCarlo group’s work on third hand smoke in non-smoking environments was just published in Science Advances.  During this work, we found that third-hand smoke, or the residue of cigarette smoke left behind on surfaces, can contribute a significant fraction of the indoor aerosol measured in a non-smoking class room!  A video summary of this work is here:

Some additional reading from the popular press here:

Washington Post: Thirdhand smoke is widespread and may be dangerous, mounting evidence shows

NPR: Tobacco Smoke Residue Can Become Airborne Again Indoors

LA Times: This room was off-limits to smokers, but its air contained surprising amounts of ‘thirdhand smoke’

Canadian Broadcast Corporation: ‘Third hand smoke’ can leap from clothes and surfaces into the air you breathe

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Anita Avery defends her Ph.D.

Anita Avery successfully defended her Ph.D.!!!

Anita’s work focused on indoor and outdoor measurements of aerosol composition which provides a better understand the processing of aerosol particles as they are transported from outdoors to indoors.  It also allows for the identification of indoor sources to particulate matter. Anita’s first paper is here:
Real‐time transformation of outdoor aerosol components upon transport indoors measured with aerosol mass spectrometry Johnson, Waring, DeCarlo 

With several more to come out of her thesis.

Anita will be starting as a postdoc at Aerodyne Research Inc. in the new year.  Congratulations Anita!

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Doug Goetz defends his Ph.D.

On Feb 14, 2017 Doug Goetz successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis and became the first Ph.D. from the DeCarlo Group.  His research focused on characterization on the emissions from the natural gas development in Pennsylvania.

Marcellus Team

Papers on Marcellus:

Goetz et al. 2015 ES&T:
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b00452 (Open access)

Goetz et al. 2017 Elementa:
https://www.elementascience.org/articles/10.1525/elementa.182/ (open access)

Doug also participated in the Nepal Ambient Monitoring and Source Testing Experiment (NAMaSTE), looking at the source emissions from under characterized sources (brick kilns, trash burning, cookstoves, etc.) in Nepal using a mini-Aerosol Mass Spectrometer.  Our time in Nepal was cut short a massive earthquake, and luckily no one was injured on the team or any of our collaborators families.  Papers on that work are forthcoming.

Https farm6 staticflickr com 5718 20093083754 061914e21d

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Antarctica Bound!

It’s NSF official (Award 1341492)!!  The DeCarlo group in collaboration with researchers from the University of Colorado are heading to Antarctica to measure aerosols in the Antarctic spring/summer.  We’ll be taking our Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (Aerodyne Research Inc.), a new Particle-into-Liquid Sampler (Brechtel Manufacturing), and a few other instruments to McMurdo Station where we will be measuring aerosols in the maritime polar environment in 2014 and 2015.  

Stay tuned!


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Ozone and NO2 time-lapse in Philly

Back by popular demand, more time-lapse Philly movies with Air Quality relevant measurements. This video was made for a presentation at the Franklin Institute to STEM Scholars, a group of STEM minded high students in the city of Philadelphia. It’s always a good thing when the students ask if there are anymore videos to watch!

Philadelphia Time Lapse with Ozone from DeCarlo Laboratory on Vimeo.

The NO2 and O3 data are provided by the Philadelphia Air Management Services.

A quick overview of what is going on with the video:

12AM to 6AM – not a lot happening
6AM to 7 AM – Emissions of NO from cars, reacts with O3 making NO2 and reducing O3 concentrations
7AM – noon – Sun rises and photolyzes NO2 (NO2 breaks down to NO + O in sunlight), increasing O3 levels, along with photochemical production of Ozone.
noon – 6 PM – Afternoon gets cloudy – dips are seen in the solar radiation measurement with cloudy conditions
6PM – midnight – At sunset NO2 is no longer photolyzed and increases in concentration. Continued emissions of NO from cars decrease O3 concentration until emissions slow down and the evening settles down into a quasi steady state from about 10 PM onwards.

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Doug Goetz Receives Koerner Award

Doug Goetz from the DeCarlo group was selected as a 2014 recipient of the Koerner Award in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering.  He was selected for this award based on his outstanding reasearch on Air Emissions from Marcellus Shale Development.  Congratulations Doug and keep up the great work!

Doug Goetz with  Dr Koerner

Photos of the event at Drexel

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