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An economic air pollution control model-application : photochemical smog in Los Angeles County in 1975


Trijonis, John Charles (1972) An economic air pollution control model-application : photochemical smog in Los Angeles County in 1975. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/hxbp-pc89.


An economic air pollution control model, which determines the least cost of reaching various air quality levels, is formulated. The model takes the form of a general, nonlinear, mathematical programming problem. Primary contaminant emission levels are the independent variables. The objective function is the cost of attaining various emission levels and is to be minimized subject to constraints that given air quality levels be attained.

The model is applied to a simplified statement of the photochemical smog problem in Los Angeles County in 1975 with emissions specified by a two-dimensional vector, total reactive hydrocarbon, (RHC), and nitrogen oxide, (NOx), emissions. Air quality, also two-dimensional, is measured by the expected number of days per year that nitrogen dioxide, (NO2), and mid-day ozone, (O3), exceed standards in Central Los Angeles.

The minimum cost of reaching various emission levels is found by a linear programming model. The base or "uncontrolled" emission levels are those that will exist in 1975 with the present new car control program and with the degree of stationary source control existing in 1971. Controls, basically "add-on devices", are considered here for used cars, aircraft, and existing stationary sources. It is found that with these added controls, Los Angeles County emission levels [(1300 tons/day RHC, 1000 tons /day NOx) in 1969] and [(670 tons/day RHC, 790 tons/day NOx) at the base 1975 level], can be reduced to 260 tons/day RHC (minimum RHC program) and 460 tons/day NOx (minimum NOx program).

"Phenomenological" or statistical air quality models provide the relationship between air quality and emissions. These models estimate the relationship by using atmospheric monitoring data taken at one (yearly) emission level and by using certain simple physical assumptions, (e. g., that emissions are reduced proportionately at all points in space and time). For NO2, (concentrations assumed proportional to NOx emissions), it is found that standard violations in Central Los Angeles, (55 in 1969), can be reduced to 25, 5, and 0 days per year by controlling emissions to 800, 550, and 300 tons /day, respectively. A probabilistic model reveals that RHC control is much more effective than NOx control in reducing Central Los Angeles ozone. The 150 days per year ozone violations in 1969 can be reduced to 75, 30, 10, and 0 days per year by abating RHC emissions to 700, 450, 300, and 150 tons/day, respectively, (at the 1969 NOx emission level).

The control cost-emission level and air quality-emission level relationships are combined in a graphical solution of the complete model to find the cost of various air quality levels. Best possible air quality levels with the controls considered here are 8 O3 and 10 NO2 violations per year (minimum ozone program) or 25 O3 and 3 NO2 violations per year (minimum NO2 program) with an annualized cost of $230,000,000 (above the estimated $150,000,000 per year for the new car control program for Los Angeles County motor vehicles in 1975).

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Environmental Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Environmental Science and Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • List, E. John (advisor)
  • Lees, Lester (co-advisor)
  • Seinfeld, John H. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Davis, Lance Edwin
  • Plott, Charles R.
  • Friedlander, Sheldon K.
Defense Date:24 May 1972
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06262014-113258422
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DocumentEQL Report: Economic air pollution control model for Los Angeles County in 1975 - Part I: General Least Cost-Air Quality Model DocumentEQL Report: Economic air pollution control model for Los Angeles County in 1975 - Part II: Application of Model to Photochemical Smog in Los Angeles County in 1975
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8527
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Jun 2014 16:48
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:10

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