Urban and Industrial  
Air Quality Assessment  
Document was last modified on:   Monday, 14-Feb-11 15:10 CET
    AirWare application: Porto do Acu, Brazil

      Model based air quality impact assessment for a large industrial complex:
      uncertainty, sensitivity and robust mitigation strategies


      This paper describes a model based assessment of air quality impacts of a large industrial complex development in Porto do Acu, Brazil. Over an area of more than 100 km2, more than 350 distinct emission sources including coal and gas fired thermal power pants with a total of 5.4 GW generating capacity, iron and steel industry, cement and building material, automotive and miscellaneous industries, a large harbor and a major traffic corridor are estimated to generate total emissions exceeding 4,000 g/s NOx.

      The impact assessment using "standard" tools (USEPA AERMOD regulatory Gaussian model according to Brazilian standards) indicates possible exceedances of air quality standards inside (hourly NOx and daily and annual PM10 and TSP values) but also outside the industrial district and immediate transportation corridor area (hourly NOx values).

      The results, however, are strongly influenced by the choice of models and model configuration options, source geometry and emission heights for area sources, available input data (primarily the meteorological observation). There also is a mismatch between the standards (NO2) and the regulatory model result (NOx) that leads to very conservative estimates.

      Extensive sensitivity analysis including the use of alternative models was performed to better understand and quantify the uncertainty introduced by standard choices and data limitations, but also to identify the data requirements to reduce this uncertainty, suggesting a more iterative approach to impact assessment.

      In a final step, we demonstrate the potential of adaptive emission control based on real-time simulation, monitoring data assimilation, and operational forecast as a powerful and cost-effective mitigation instrument, to obtain "robust compliance" despite considerable uncertainty in the original environmental impact assessment.

      DRAFT Table of Content

      • Introduction:
        • description of the Porto do ACu project;
        • description of the Brazilian standards for EIA;

      • Data availability:
        • Emission scenarios
        • Meteorological data
        • Monitoring and background

      • Scenario analysis:
        • basic scenarios and model results
        • Sensitivity analysis:
          • alternative models; NO2 and photochemistry; particulates: deposition estimates; grid resolution, positioning, receptor locations; meteorological data: wind speed, turbulence and PBL estimates; emission data; source geometry and emission height; traffic simulation: mixing zone concept; mobile sources.

      • Effective mitigation: adaptive emission control

      • Discussion

      • References

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