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ME 580 Air Pollution Control

Catalog Description

ME 580 Air Pollution Control (3). Prerequisites: CHEM 202, ME 310 or equivalent. Origin of air pollutants, combustion processes, control of emissions of gaseous and particulate pollutants and design of various pollution control devices.

Prerequisites by Topic

  1. College chemistry
  2. Dynamics
  3. Thermodynamics
  4. Fluid mechanics


N. de Nevers, Air Pollution Control Engineering, McGraw-Hill Book Co., 2nd edition, 2000.


W.G. Cobourn, Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Course Learning Outcomes

This course is designed to familiarize graduate-professional students in Mechanical Engineering with the basic physics and chemistry associated with the formation and control of pollutants. Analysis and design of pollution control equipment is a key element in the course. The majority of homework assignments are design oriented. Design projects concern equipment such as electrostatic precipitators, cyclone separators, filters and gas scrubbers. Several computer simulation programs are available for student use on these projects.

Topics Covered

  1. Origin and fate of air pollutants (3 classes)
  2. Air pollution effects (3 classs)
  3. Air pollution regulations (2 classes)
  4. Air pollution meteorology (4 classes)
  5. Particulate matter (6 classes)
  6. Control of particulate emissions (6 classes)
  7. Control of volatile organic compounds (6 classes)
  8. Control of sulfur oxides (3 classes)
  9. Control of nitrogen oxides (6 classes)
  10. Report presentations (2 classes)
  11. Mid-term examination (1 class)

Computer Use

Use of software packages for air pollution control calculations.


Course grade is based upon homework, a midterm examination, a term paper, and a final exam. The term papers will concern contemporary topics in air pollution control. Graduate students are required to write more extensive term papers. These papers require cited references in a bibliography, and the required length is 50 percent greater than for undergraduates.

Class/Laboratory Schedule

Three 50 minute sessions per week devoted to lecture, discussion, and problem solving.

Curriculum Criterion Contribution

Engineering science: 1 credit, engineering design: 2 credits.

Relationship to Program Outcomes

This course supports Mechanical Engineering Department B.Sc. program objectives by developing:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve problems in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to communicate effectively.
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern tools necessary for the practice of mechanical engineering.

Prepared by W.G. Cobourn, June 2009

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