. "3 Review of the DOE Fine Particulate Research Program." Review of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy's Research Plan for Fine Particulates. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999.
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Review of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy's Research Plan for Fine Particulates
the technology. The committee found it difficult to evaluate this component of the DOE program.
Finding 2. The committee was not provided with the details of DOE's contribution to the BRAVO project, specifically the involvement of Brookhaven National Laboratory in apportioning regional haze using perfluorocarbon tracer technology. As a result, the committee found it difficult to evaluate DOE's contribution to this project or to separate the roles of Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of California-Davis.
Finding 3. The apparent reluctance of the Mexican government to participate in the tracer experiments could compromise the BRAVO project's ability to estimate the contributions of various power plants to haze in the Big Bend National Park.
Recommendation 1. DOE should carefully review the results of this project to determine if the Big Bend Regional Aerosol and Visibility Observational (BRAVO) Project is more successful than previous projects for tracing plumes and assessing visibility. This review should be conducted as soon as practical to determine if further development of perfluorocarbon tracer technology will contribute to DOE meeting its fine particulate research program goals. DOE should then determine whether it should continue to pursue this technology or reallocate these funds to other parts of its fine particulate research program.
Recommendation 2. DOE should join with other participants in the Big Bend Regional Aerosol and Visibility Observational (BRAVO) Project and other government agencies to explore opportunities for further cooperation with the Mexican government.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ON EMISSIONS-CONTROL TECHNOLOGY
One of the objectives of the DOE-FE research program is to develop and evaluate cost-effective technologies for controlling both primary particulate matter and secondary fine particulate precursors in the event that further reductions in emissions from coal-fired power plants become necessary.
Finding 1. All four projects on the development of control technologies in the fine particulate research program were initiated several years ago, are coming to a close, and will not provide a foundation for DOE-FE's future activities. Consequently, in agreement with the sponsor, the committee did not evaluate them.
Finding 2. DOE recently issued a program solicitation for the development of emission-control technology for primary PM2.5. The solicitation calls for the allocation of modest funds (about $1.5 million in fiscal year 1999) to support seven to twelve projects. The committee questions the wisdom of DOE making even modest investments in new, unproven technologies for controlling primary PM2.5 emissions before the performance of current technologies has been assessed and before a need has been established for reductions in emissions of primary PM2.5 from coal-fired power-plants beyond the reductions currently projected to meet air quality standards. At this time, DOE would be wiser to focus on clarifying source-receptor relationships and the elements of particle formation from NOx and organic materials.
Recommendation 1. The committee recognizes that limited funding may be necessary for the development of technology options for coal-fired boilers in the event that current methods prove to be inadequate. New technology options should be designed for the simultaneous, efficient control of multiple pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter, and hazardous air pollutants. The development of these technologies is unlikely, however, with the modest funds currently available. If no additional funds can be obtained, the committee recommends that the resources devoted to this effort be reallocated to other areas of the DOE-FE fine particulate research program.