(287a) Air Dispersion Modeling with Multi-Criteria Decision Approach for Sustainability

Liu, T., MMI Engineering
Reed, M., MMI Engineering
Peterson, E., MMI Engineering
Wang, M., MMI Engineering

With the advancement of computer simulation software, air dispersion modeling is widely used to estimate or predict the concentration of air pollutants or toxicants emitted from various sources for different purposes (e.g., air permitting and regulatory compliance). A preliminary air permitting study can identify the air permitting programs necessary for different manufacturing plants or refineries. In this work, air dispersion modeling software AERMOD is utilized in a preliminary air permitting study with maximum process throughputs from a manufacturing plant for possible emission sources. Initial results show that the concentration of one of the pollutants exceeding the regulation standard.

To reduce the air pollution and comply with the regulatory requirements, the plant needs to consider several options to control the concentration within the air permitting limit. A multi-criteria decision-making approach, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), is utilized with multi-level hierarchical structure of objectives, criteria and alternatives. Based on the philosophy of the triple bottom line of sustainability (economic, social and environmental), several sub-criteria are defined and the pertinent data are derived by using a set of pairwise comparisons. These comparisons are used to calculate the relative performance measures of alternative options and the results illustrate the benefits of the multi-criteria decision approach.