(60b) Sensitivity Study of Atmospheric Wind Speed on Ozone Pollution Impacted By a Chemical Plant Shutdown

Ge, S., China University of Mining & Technology
Wang, S., Lamar University
Xu, Q., Lamar University
Ho, T., Lamar University
Sensitivity Study of Atmospheric Wind Speed on Ozone Pollution Impacted by A Chemical Plant Shutdown

Sijie Ge1,2, Sujing Wang3, Qiang Xu1,*, Thomas Ho1

1Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX 77710, USA

2School of Environment Science and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, Jiangsu, China

3Department of Computer Science, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX 77710, USA


Flaring is a necessary measure for chemical plant safety. However, the industrial flaring generates large amounts of VOC and NOx, which could transiently aggravate regional ozone concentrations that could affect on human health and the air-quality. Atmospheric wind contributes to atmospheric pollutants diffusion and then dilute the pollutants concentration. However, flare combustion efficiency is lower than the national standard value of 98% or 99% due to the high atmospheric wind speed, which potentially generate more flare emissions and then cause more ozone. So, it is a double-edged sword that wind speed accelerates the atmospheric diffusion and generate more flare emissions. Thus, it is important to know the quantity and sensitivity of the regional ozone impact due to the atmospheric wind speed. In this paper, plant-wide dynamic simulations for plant shutdown flare emissions with regional air-quality modeling were coupled together to quantify the air-quality impact due to the atmospheric wind speed. Firstly, domain meteorological data (i.e., wind speed) was manually modified with minus 0.5, plus 2 and plus 3 m/s, respectively. Secondly, the shutdown flare emissions were estimated based on the combustion efficiency formulas associated with wind speed and then inserted into emission inventory for air-quality modeling and simulation. After that, comprehensive air quality model with extensions (CAMx) was conducted to investigate the ozone concentration impacted by plant shutdown with and without wind speed changes. This study could provide valuable and quantitative support for all relevant stakeholders, including environmental agencies, regional plants, and local communities.