Study of SO2 dispersion from a proposed refinery in newfoundland and labrador, Canada

Sabah Abdul-Wahab, Ali Elkamel, Lena Ahmadi, Keziah Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Breathing air-containing sulfur dioxide (SO2) by human being could cause severe health problems. Therefore, modeling SO2 dispersion is essentially important to make sure that concentrations do not exceed threshold limit, especially for commercial and residential buildings which are located close to the penetration sources. The main objective of this paper is to examine the dispersion effects of SO2 from a new oil refinery proposed by Newfoundland and Labrador Refining Corporation to be constructed in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The study, done in 2012 to analyze the dispersion effects of SO2, attempts to decide if the oil refinery requires retrofitting within five years of this study (2012-2017) considering the government policy on reducing emission from industrial sectors to meet limit of civilians’ exposure. For this purpose, CALPUFF dispersion modelling software was used to simulate the dispersion effects of SO2. Results indicate that the highest hourly SO2 concentration (582 μg m-3, at a location 2.5 km east and 3.5 km north of the refinery) and second highest 3-h average (199 μg m-3) both occurred on October 19, 2012. The simulation indicates that the highest daily average concentration (63 μg m-3, at a location 5.5 km east and 0.5 km north of the source) and monthly average concentration (12 μg m-3, same location as highest hourly concentration) were on 13th December and July, respectively. Besides, the hourly, 3-h and monthly SO2 limits set by the province of Newfoundland and Labrador are 900, 600 and 300 μg m-3 respectively. These limits are all significantly higher than the highest hourly, 3-h and daily average SO2 concentrations of 582, 200 and 63 μg m-3 respectively. To conclude, out of all months in 2012, the highest hourly, 3-h, daily and monthly average SO2concentrations are simulated to be the lowest in March, November, May and April respectively. The maximum hourly, 3-h and daily simulated SO2 concentrations are all well below the SO2 limits set for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Likewise, the maximum 3-h simulated SO2 concentration is also well below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards 3-h SO2 limit. However, the maximum hourly SO2 concentration is found to be significantly higher than the NAAQS hourly SO2 limit by 196%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-294
Number of pages12
JournalSustainable Environment Research
Volume25
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015

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Keywords

  • CALPUFF
  • Canada
  • Dispersion
  • MM5
  • Refinery
  • Sulfur dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Water Science and Technology

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