The first week of August brought to Chinanu and I a new objective, to compare concentrations of specific compounds between our two most promising site, the I-91 off ramp and at Yale’s Medical School. At both sites, we sampled during “rush hour”, for the I-91 ramp we sampled during the morning when workers were coming into New Haven, and during lunch time at the Medical School.
During our meeting with Dr. Gentner, we agreed that we would focus on toluene, xylenes, and compounds with benzenes. In our analysis, we also found a few alkanes and oxygenated alkanes we decided were significant enough to take note of.
Surprisingly, both sites had similar compounds. More alkanes were found from the I-91 site than from the Medical School site which is expected, because alkanes are generally from the gasoline burned in cars.
Though specific concentration of compounds were not determined because calibration curves from standards have not been completed yet, we are able to look at the relative concentrations of compounds by comparing the relative peak heights seen on the chromatograms produced. Generally, the concentrations of the compounds that were seen, mainly compounds that contained benzene, in both the I-91 samples and the Medical School samples were generally the same, suggesting that emissions from the tailpipes of cars are similar to that of the food carts that park at the Medical School.