Dr. Thomas Jobson

Dr. Thomas Jobson

Speaker | Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University

Pullman, WA | tjobson@wsu.edu

Education: University of Victoria, Canada Chemistry B.Sc 1989. York University, Canada Chemistry Ph.D. 1994, NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory Tropospheric Chemistry NRC post doc 1994-1997. Appointments: 2014 – present: Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Washington State University, 2005 – 2014: Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Washington State University, 2001- 2005: Senior Research Scientist Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 1997-2000: Research Associate, University of Colorado and NOAA Laboratory, Boulder CO. Research Interests: Atmospheric chemistry and air quality, indoor air quality, trace gas analysis methods for VOCs. Compost air emissions. Synergistic Activities: WSU member representative for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, 2006-present. Co-Chair, Atmospheric Chemistry Committee, American Meteorological Society, 2011-2014. Regular technical reviewer for numerous peer-reviewed journals. Has previously conducted a serices of studies compost air emissions supported by WA State Department of Ecology

Session Code: A3

Track: Current Research (hosted by CREF)

Session Name: PFAS and Air Emissions

Session Time: 4:15 to 5:45 PM

Presentation Title: Research to Improve Compost Facility Air Emissions Permitting

Presentation Description: The waste management industry is increasingly caught between mandates to recycle more organics through composting and ever more stringent environmental regulations. Air emissions are a critical component in permitting compost facilities where a chief concern is the volatile organic compound (VOC) emission factor (EF). The default EF’s commonly used by regulators throughout the US represent an average of a random collection of widely varying source tests conducted between 2000-2010. Neither the testing nor the regulations that followed gave actionable consideration to the process conditions that were the cause of this wide range of EF’s and the resulting high average EF’s that are now the basis of many permits. High EFs are key drivers in the cost and complexity of permitting and add requirements for expensive source tests and purchase of VOC off-sets.

The goal of this research is to develop a technology-agnostic guideline for regulators, and process designers, to predict VOC EF’s from easily measured composting Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). The experimental setup combines a full featured two zone aerated static pile (ASP) with WSU’s sophisticated air emissions sampling and analysis capabilities. Starting in May of 2022 a matrix of side-by-side trials was initiated to measure and compare both VOC EF’s and speciation as key process conditions are varied.  The specific process conditions considered included mix characteristics, aeration direction (positive, negative, reversing), temperature, and oxygen levels. The process conditions are controlled to mimic known operating conditions over the typical range found at full-scale facilities.  A combination of both continuous and periodic air analysis has yielded unprecedented insights to the correlation between compost process conditions and life-cycle total and speciated VOC air emissions. This presentation will discuss the initial findings of this research.