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Energy and Environment Directorate

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Fate and Transport Analysis Project

Fate and transport analysis is defined as the study of how chemicals degrade and where chemicals travel in the environment when they are released intentionally or unintentionally. This analysis is currently used in the United States to determine pesticide and herbicide residues, industrial process vapors and car exhaust emissions released to the environment.

Fate and transport analysis is a holistic way of looking at chemicals in the environment and involves a modeling system that indicates not only how a chemical moves through the air, water and soil (transport) but also how the chemical changes in the presence of other chemicals and particles (fate). This modeling system is often coupled with sensing and collection systems to find chemical residues left in the environment.

Fate and transport research began in response to government laws in the late 1970s seeking to protect the public from chemical pollution and disasters that might occur in industrial settings or while transporting dangerous chemicals. People needed to understand and model worst-case scenarios for the impact areas, to see how bad it would be, to define the area needing protection and to understand what technology was needed. Now, this fate and transport research has expanded to incorporate new methods and new areas of study.

The Fate and Transport Analysis project is supported by the Energy and Environment Directorate.

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