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HARC Newsletter | December 2016


HARC: 2016 Year in Review
It has been 15 years since HARC shifted its complete focus to sustainability, or as we say at HARC, “helping people to thrive and nature to flourish.” During that time, we have collaborated with diverse public and private partners in research and outreach initiatives in our three core program areas of air, energy, and water. That work has encompassed a wide range of topics, including regional air quality research on ground level ozone and air toxics, accelerating adoption of clean and efficient energy technologies, testing of technologies and practices to address environmental and societal aspects of oil and gas activities, and working with stakeholders to translate scientific information about the health of the Galveston Bay Estuary and coastal ecosystems.
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HARC in 2016
AIR
Cost-Effective Measures to Reduce PM2.5 in Harris County
In 2015 HARC completed a project that identified the primary sources of fine particulate matter or PM2.5 pollutants in Harris County as well as the control measures that can be used to reduce them. Each control measure has a unique efficiency and cost.
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EFD
Flare Gas Reduction: A Cost Effective Solution from HARC
HARC’s Environmental Friendly Drilling (EFD) Systems recently demonstrated a cost effective flare gas reduction solution in the Bakken Shale, North Dakota. The 90 day pilot trial project integrated a system that provides attractive economics while providing environmental benefits associated with reduced flare emissions and on site power. HARC’s Satish Ravindran discusses the challenges in the Bakken and how the waste heat to power solution helped address the issue.
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Field Testing of Dual Fuel Natural Gas/Diesel Engine Performance and Emissions in Oil & Gas Operations
HARC scientists designed and built an intrinsically safe, state-of-the-art Real-Time Emissions Measurement System (REMS), suitable for use in a hazardous environment where hydrocarbon vapor may be present, such as an active drilling or hydraulic fracturing location. The instrument package features a real-time exhaust emissions data acquisition system utilizing Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and an AVL micro soot sensor.
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Water
Texas Watershed Protection Planning
Double Bayou is the only watershed in the eastern portion of the Lower Galveston Bay watershed with a watershed protection plan. The Texas State Soil Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Galveston Bay Estuary Program (TCEQ GBEP), United States Geological Survey (USGS), Shead Conservation Solutions and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) are all working together with watershed stakeholders to restore and protect water quality through the development of the Double Bayou Watershed Protection Plan.
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Watershed Protection Planning in Galveston Bay
HARC is pleased to announce that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reviewed and accepted the stakeholder-approved Double Bayou Watershed Protection Plan as meeting the agency’s guidelines for watershed-based plans. The Double Bayou Watershed Protection Plan describes voluntary implementation strategies to reduce non-point source pollution in the watershed.
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Water Program Video: HARC’s Galveston Bay Report Card
Watch this video on the Galveston Bay Report Card. The Galveston Bay Report Card is a collaboration between the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and the Galveston Bay Foundation through a grant from Houston Endowment.
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Energy
Ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate: What's Next?
In December 2015, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change convened the annual Conference of Parties (COP 21) in Paris. A significant step was taken toward the decarbonization of the planet. At COP 21, 195 countries came together to adopt the Paris Agreement. The primary goal of this Agreement is to implement carbon reduction programs and technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. The expectation is that these efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will limit global temperature rise below a 2 degree Celsius increase, and ideally below a 1.5 degree Celsius increase.
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DOE Southwest Combined Heat and Power TAP
HARC has been working on climate mitigation and adaptation applications and technologies through the research and application of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy resilience through combined heat and power (CHP). HARC’s recent award from the Department of Energy will allow its Clean Energy program to continue leading the DOEs Southwest CHP Technical Assistance Partnership (SW CHP TAP).
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Featured Researcher
Mustapha Beydoun, PhD
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Mustapha Beydoun is the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC). He is responsible for directing, administering, and coordinating the operations of HARC in support of the organization’s strategic and administrative goals. His research interests are in the areas of air quality, vehicle emissions, urban planning and growth management, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.
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Announcements & Upcoming Events
HARC Engages "Citizen Scientists" Studying Rigs-to-Reefs: Carolyn LaFleur to speak at CHUM meeting January 19
Offshore oil and gas platforms that have reached the end of their productive life can be converted to artificial reef structures that attract diverse populations of fish and other organisms.
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EFD Virtual Site Updates
HARC’s EFD Team launched the ‘EFD Virtual Site’ website, a free, online, interactive website/tool to help foster environmental stewardship as part of oil and gas workforce development.
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CHP in Hospitals – Improving Resilience and Lowering Operating Costs
Learn How Combined Heat and Power Can Help Save You Money and Increase Your Energy Reliability
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Double Bayou Watershed Protection Plan project receives Our Great Region Diligence Award
Houston Galveston Area Council’s (H-GAC) Our Great Region Awards recognize outstanding projects in the region that advance the goals and strategies identified in the Our Great Region.
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Combined Heat and Power in Breweries – Better Beer at Lower Costs
As more breweries come online, there is greater competition for customer share. To be more competitive in the market brewers not only need to produce great beer, but they need to do it in a cost effective manner.
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HARC's Jay Olaguer releases new book: "Atmospheric Impacts of the Oil and Gas Industry"
HARC's Jay Olaguer, Program Director, Air Quality Science, is the sole author of a new book released by Elsevier on December 1, 2016 entitled, “Atmospheric Impacts of the Oil and Gas Industry.”
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HARC’s Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems Program wins 2016 Eagle Ford Excellence Impact Award
The South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable (STEER), honored HARC’s Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems (EFD) Program with the 2016 Eagle Ford Excellence Impact Award.
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The Galveston Bay 2016 Report Card triggers unprecedented community engagement
The Galveston Bay 2016 Report Card Drives Unprecedented Community Interest and Involvement in Protecting an “Estuary of National Significance”
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HARC in the news
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2016
Double Bayou Watershed Protection Plan Project Receives Our Great Region Diligence Award
"It's an honor for the project to receive this award, which highlights the importance of WPPs in protecting regional water quality," said Stephanie Glenn.
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View this and prior newsletters in our archive
4800 Research Forest Drive, TX 77381, USA
HARC is a research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues to people seeking scientific answers. We are focused on building a sustainable future that helps people thrive and nature flourish.

HARC and its EarthShare of Texas partners are thankful to benefit from Reliant Energy’s EcoShare Program, an easy and affordable way to purchase carbon offsets and directly contribute to local environmental efforts.
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