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Lipsky Publishes Article on Air Quality Research

Dr. Eric Lipsky
2/20/2006 —

As a member of a research team at one of six government funded supersites in the Eastern United States, Penn State McKeesport Instructor in Engineering, Dr. Eric Lipsky, worked to study air quality.  Lipsky's dissertation topic at Carnegie Mellon University, home of one of the supersites, was "Measurement of Fine Particle Emissions from Combustion Sources:  Design and Evaluation of Dilution Samplers and the Effects of Sampling Conditions."  The research documented in this doctoral study was recently published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Lipsky's article, co-authored with Dr. Allan L. Robinson, an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon and Lipsky's dissertation advisor, focused on examining the effects of dilution on emissions from a diesel engine and from a wood stove.  The article also dealt with improving the techniques by which we measure emissions to better simulate the effects on the emissions as they are diluted during their release into the atmosphere. 
 
The CMU supersite at which Lipsky worked during his doctoral studies was co-funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U. S. Department of Energy.  The air pollution study group that staffed the supersite, was composed of chemical, civil and mechanical engineers, computer modelers, and experimentalists.   The study, based in Pittsburgh's Schenley Park, collected data over a 14-month period, and included researchers from universities throughout the United States. 
 Lipsky's article, Effects of Dilution on Fine Particle Mass and Partitioning of Semivolatile Organics in Diesel Exhaust and Wood Smoke,  focuses on the emissions of a diesel engine as well as those of a wood burning stove.  In this study, Dr. Lipsky worked with three identical dilution machines, each diluting the emissions different amounts at the same time.  This allowed him to compare the effects of dilution on fine particle mass emissions while minimizing the effects of variations in the emissions. 

The results showed that due to the large amounts of organic material in the diesel and woodsmoke emissions, the mass emission rate will vary depending on the amount of dilution.  By increasing the amount of dilution with filtered air, the mass emission rate was dramatically reduced in both the diesel engine and the wood burning stove emissions.  The article goes on to explain how the amount of dilution affects the organic material in the exhaust as it is cooled from the high exhaust temperatures to ambient levels, and how the two types of exhausts (wood and diesel) differ from each other.
 
Dr. Lipsky currently teaches Mechanical Engineering courses at Penn State McKeesport while continuing his research in Environmental Science.

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