Organization: Department of Commerce (DOC)

Research Title: Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation: Chemically Induced Changes

Funding Level (millions of dollars):

FY94 1.8
FY95 2.6
FY96 2.3

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
Subcommittee: Global Change Research Subcommittee (100%) Technology and Engineering Research Subcommittee NSTC Committee on Civilian Industrial Technology
(b) Environmental Issue: Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation: Chemically Inducted Changes
(c) Research Activity: Environmental Technologies: Research and Development (100%)

Organizational Component:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
NIST Program Office
Admin. Bldg. Rm A1000
Gaithersburg, MD 20899;

Point of Contact:
Richard E. Ricker
Phone: 301-975-2660
Fax: 301-216-0529;

Research Goals:
The goal of this program is to provide industry, universities and government agencies with the measurement methods, evaluated data standards and technologies needed to understand global climatic change and to reduce pollution induced change.

Research Description:
NIST scientist are studying the kinetic, thermodynamic, spectroscopic, and photochemical properties of natural and manmade atmospheric constituents that may affect the ozone layer, and evaluating kinetic and thermodynamic data for inclusion in the Upper Atmosphere Database. NIST is compiling and evaluating a database of existing source and ambient methane and carbon monoxide isotopic signatures to determine regional and global sources of greenhouse gases.

In response to national and international laws and agreements restricting the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) because of their implication in the depletion of the earth's stratospheric ozone layer, U.S. industry is seeking alternative refrigerants for implementation as quickly as possible. NIST is providing the thermophysical properties and engineering data needed to identify promising alternatives, to retrofit existing equipment and to design and optimize new equipment for the replacement fluids. NIST is also developing the computer models required by industrial cycle simulation codes and equipment design programs to predict the properties of pure fluids and mixtures, even when little or no data exists. NIST is developing the generic engineering data and compiling critically evaluated databases needed to assist refrigeration system designers in the selection of system configurations and hardware components. The studies also focus on the materials that necessarily come in contact with the alternative refrigerants, and new solid state refrigerant materials are being developed for use in magnetic refrigerators.

Program Interfaces:
NIST standards are used for the calibration of measurement systems and equipment, and as reference points for the national and international measurement community. SRMs are available for various atmospheric gases, including the major "greenhouse" or "global warming" gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). NIST is developing and producing gaseous SRMs that will be used by both the automotive industry and regulatory agencies in monitoring compliance with exhaust emission reductions required by EPA. NIST, in cooperation with EPA, has designed, built, and calibrated several specialized instruments (photometers and spectroradiometers) to measure ozone accurately. These instruments serve as the primary standard worldwide to ensure measurement accuracy and data compatibility. Working with NASA and NOAA scientists, NIST researchers are improving methods for calibrating satellite optical sensor systems that monitor atmospheric ozone levels.

Program Milestones:
Public release of database, standard reference material, and research results. Adoption of NIST developed measurement methods into practice standards, and regulations.

Policy Payoffs:
The information, measurement methods and standards derived through this research will enable decision makers to better understand the impact of decisions on the environment and industrial competitiveness. This will help both the industrial competitiveness of U.S. industries and the environment. For example, providing industry with data on alternate refrigerants will enable them to select the most cost effective environmentally benign freon replacement. Without this research, U.S. industries could be forced to use less effective replacements or jeopardizing their competitive positions with respect to non-U.S. firms.