Description: A brief description of the perfluorocarbon tracer (PFT) system, which includes the tracers and the release equipment, the air samplers and the analyzers, is presented along with details on the research needs to provide a viable system for MATEX-scenario experiments. The present family of 2 viable PFTs needs to be increased to 5 to 6. Given the present precision of the analysis system, a one year long tracer experiment consisting of 4 hour releases every 60 hours from 5 different sites would require nearly 150 metric tons of PFTs at a cost of $15,000,000. Shortcomings in the programmable sampler include the pump, the sampling sequence control flexibility, data storage and retrieval, and the lack of remote communication capability; sampler adsorbent studies are also needed. The analytical system, including the catalyst processing bed, the chromatography column resolution, and the linearity of the detector, is in need of significant improvement. A higher resolution analysis system could significantly reduce analysis time but, more importantly, reduce tracer requirements more than 10-fold, for a cost savings potential of more than $13,000,000. A model is presented to demonstrate the feasibility of tracer material balances. Assessment of earlier long-range tracer experiments indicates the need for possibly 400 ground sampling sites requiring $8 to $14 million worth of samplers for a one-year tracer experiment. As many as six aircraft would be needed to conduct airborne model validation and material balance studies for each tracer plume.
Date: March 1, 1984
Creator: Dietz, R.N. & Senum, G.I.
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