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Air Pollution Dispersion Modeling

Air Pollution Dispersion Modeling



|Views: 2,615|Likes:
Published by Milton Beychok
Discusses and explains the classical Gaussian atmospheric dispersion equations for a hot, bent-over pollution plume.

Also discusses and explains the classic "Briggs Equations" for determining the rise of hot, bent-over plumes.

Includes a detailed reference list.
Discusses and explains the classical Gaussian atmospheric dispersion equations for a hot, bent-over pollution plume.

Also discusses and explains the classic "Briggs Equations" for determining the rise of hot, bent-over plumes.

Includes a detailed reference list.

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Milton Beychok on Mar 06, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Air pollution dispersion modeling
is themathematical simulationof how air pollutants disperse in the ambient atmosphere. It is per-formed withcomputer programs, calleddispersion models, that solvethe mathematical equations andalgorithmswhichsimulate the pollutant dispersion. The dispersion modelsare used to estimate or to predict the downwindconcentrationof air pollutants emitted fromemissionsourcessuch as industrial plants and vehicular traffic.Such models are important to governmental agenciestasked with protecting and managing ambient airquality. The models are typically employed to determinewhether exist-ing or proposed new industrial facilitiesare or will be in compliance with the National AmbientAir Quality Standards (NAAQS) in theUnited Statesandsimilar standards in other nations. The models also serve to assist in the design of effective control strategies to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants. The dispersion models require the input of data which includes:
Meteorological data such aswindspeed and direction,atmospheric turbulence(characterized by what is known as the
), theambient air temperature and the height to the bottom of any temperatureinversionthat may be present aloft.
Emissions parameters such as source location and height, source vent stackdiameter and exit velocity, exit temperature and mass flow rate.
 Terrain elevations at the source location and at the receptor location.
 The location, height and width of any obstructions (such as buildings or otherstructures) in the path of thegaseous emission plume. Many modern, advanced dispersion modeling programs include pre-processormodules for the input of meteorological and other data, and many also include apost-processor module for graphing the output data and/or plotting the areaimpacted by the air pollutants on maps. Currently, theAERMOD air pollutiondispersion modelis the preferred regulatory model of theU.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency. The air pollution dispersion models are also known as atmospheric dispersionmodels, atmospheric diffusion models, air dispersion models and air quality models.
Gaussian air pollution dispersion equation
 The technical literature on air pollution dispersion is quite extensive and dates backto the 1930's and earlier. One of the early air pollutant plume dispersion equationswas derived by Bosanquet and Pearson.
Their equation did not assumeGaussiandistributionnor did it include the effect of ground reflection of the pollutant plume.Sir Graham Sutton derived an air pollutant plume dispersion equation in 1947
which did include the assumption of Gaussian distribution for the vertical and
crosswind dispersion
of the plume and also included the effect of ground reflectionof the plume.
 There was an immense growth in the utilization of air pollutant plume dispersion
alculations between the late 1960s and today. Since personal computers also cameinto existence during that period, a great many computer programs for calculatingthe dispersion of air pollutant emissions were developed in that same period. Thebasis for most of those models was the
Complete Equation For GaussianDispersion Modeling Of Continuous,BuoyantAir Pollution Plumes
  The above equation includes upward reflection of the pollution plume from theground, as well as downward reflection from the bottom of any temperatureinversion lid present in the atmosphere. The sum of the four exponential terms in
converges to a final value quite rapidly.For most cases, the summation of the series with
= 1,
= 2 and
= 3 willprovide an adequate solution.
It should be noted that
are functions of the atmospheric stability class(i.e., a measure of the turbulence in the ambient atmosphere) and of the downwinddistance to the receptor. The two most important variables affecting the degree of pollutant emission dispersion obtained are the height of the emission source pointand the degree of atmospheric turbulence. The more turbulence, the better thedegree of dispersion. The resulting calculations for air pollutant concentrations are often expressed as anair pollutant concentration contour map in order to show the spatial variation inpollutant levels over a wide area under study. In this way the contour lines canoverlay sensitive receptor locations and reveal the spatial relationship of airpollutants to areas of interest.
The Briggs plume rise equations
 The Gaussian air pollutant dispersion equation (discussed above) requires the inputof 
(also known as the effective plume height,
) which is the pollutant plume'scenterline height above ground level.
at any distance from the pollutant plume'ssource is the sum of 
(the actual physical height of the pollutant plume's sourcepoint) plus
(the plume rise due the plume's buoyancy) at that distance. To determine
, most air dispersion models developed between the late 1960sand the early 2000s used what are known as "the Briggs equations." G.A. Briggsfirst published his plume rise observations and comparisons in 1965.
In 1968, at asymposium sponsored by CONCAWE (a Dutch organization), he compared many of the plume rise models then available in the literature
and also wrote a section of the publication edited by Slade
dealing with the comparative analyses of plumerise models. That was followed in 1969 by his classical critique of the entire plumerise literature,
in which he proposed the plume rise equations which have becamewidely known as "the Briggs equations”. Subsequently Briggs modified those plumerise equations in 1971 and in 1972.
Briggs divided air pollution plumes into these four general categories:
Cold jet plumes in calm ambient air conditions

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