Title: Impacts of Electric Vehicles and SPCS on Ambient Air Quality
Program: REU: Earth, Wind, and Fire: Sustainability in the 21stCentury, Kansas State University
Department: Chemical Engineering
Duration: May 2015-Aug 2015
Author: Andrey Znamensky (email@example.com)
Air pollution is defined as the presence or introduction of particulates, biological matter, or toxins, which cause disease, damage, or death to humans and other organisms. Premature death due to air pollution exposure currently claims an estimated 7 million human lives worldwide annually (indoor and outdoor), according to the World Health Organization, accounting for 12% of the total global deaths per year. One of the largest pollution contributors are light-duty mobile sources. Despite the enactment of influential and wide-sweeping policies and technological innovations in emissions reduction, there is still a significant demand for more sustainable solutions.
A literature review was performed on economic, environmental, and social impacts of electric vehicles and solar power charging stations (SPCS) on ambient air quality. Historical trends and problem areas have been identified, and it has been demonstrated over several decades that the country’s economic welfare and growth can improve while polluting emissions and deaths therefrom, decrease. In urban areas, where the concentrations of pollutants can build up to dangerous levels, alternatives to conventional transportation vehicles are needed. There is evidence to suggest that electric vehicles (EVs) present an increasingly promising solution, especially if powered by electricity generated with solar energy. EVs were shown to provide a variety of environmental, social, and economic benefits, helping urban areas meet NAAQs for CO, NO2, ozone, PM2.5 and PM10, which in turn reduce mortality and health problems due to air pollution.
Additionally, measurements were taken to attempt to quantify the effects of conventional vehicle transportation on pollutant concentrations and assess instrument feasibility. Low-cost portable monitoring instruments: Dylos DC1700 and AeroQual Series500 were used to monitor local NO2, CO, and PM levels as a rough function of mobile vehicle density. The results were found to be consistent with EPA data for the area. In terms of particulates, large differences were noted between dense areas of traffic, and control. Outdoor levels were five times larger for smaller particles and ten times for larger particles during rush hour traffic. Few factors have greater impact on human health than air pollution, and with a concerted effort to electrify transportation, it is possible to clean up the air we breath.
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