Air Quality Studies in Albuquerque, New Mexico
The objectives of this project were to upgrade instrumentation by analyzing species present in the atmosphere, train students in the area of air quality analysis parameters and provide an opportunity to determine baseline atmospheric concentrations of potential pollutants in the urban atmosphere of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Matching funds provided through this project and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) have allowed considerable upgrade of equipment available to measure air quality parameters. To meet the training objectives, six students were involved in the project (two graduate students and four undergraduate students). The two graduate students have based their M.S. thesis projects on this study and one student has completed her thesis during fall of 1992. The four undergraduate students have learned techniques and procedures related to atmospheric analyses. A suite of inorganic and organic chemicals were analyzed over a one year period in Albuquerque, New Mexico to determine baseline conditions for organic pollutants, and, coupled with analyses of inorganic species, a snapshot of conditions under the current air pollution control parameters has been obtained. Concentrations of low molecular weight carbonyl compounds are relatively high compared with highly polluted areas such as Los Angeles. In addition, ratios of peroxypropionyl nitrate to peroxyacytylnitrate are higher than expected and may be related to the use of oxygenated fuels which are used to mitigate CO concentrations. More detailed studies are needed to determine the specific relationship between the use of oxygenated fuels and the composition of the atmosphere over Albuquerque, New Mexico.