(387g) Regional Air Quality Improvement By Scheduling of Multiple Chemical Plant Start-Ups | AIChE

(387g) Regional Air Quality Improvement By Scheduling of Multiple Chemical Plant Start-Ups


Cai, T. - Presenter, Lamar University
Xu, Q., Lamar University

Chemical plant concentrated regions may suffer localized and transient air pollution events that violate national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS).  Flaring emissions, especially intensive start-up flaring emissions from chemical plants, have potentially significant impacts on local air quality.  Thus, when multiple plants in an industrial zone plan to start-up within a same time period, their start-up plans should be evaluated and optimally controlled so as to avoid unexpected air-quality violations in any air-quality concern regions (AQCRs).  In this paper, a general systematic methodology for multi-plant start-up emission evaluation and control has been developed.  The methodology starts with collecting regional meteorological information such as wind speed and temperature; geographical information of all of the involved chemical plants and AQCRs; as well as plant operation data such as the start-up time window, start-up duration, and estimated emission profile.  Next, a regional air-quality evaluation based on Gaussian dispersion model will be conducted.  If any air quality violation is predicted to an AQCR, a multi-objective scheduling problem will be generated and solved to optimize the start-up sequence and start-up beginning time for all chemical plants.  The scheduling model minimizes the overall air quality impacts to all of AQCRs as well as minimize the total start-up time mismatch of all plants, subject to the principles of atmospheric pollutant dispersion.  This study may provide valuable quantitative decision supports for multiple stake holders, including government environmental agency, regional chemical plants, and local communities.