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Journal of Environmental Sciences 2011, 23(6) 931940

Application of the AERMOD modeling system for environmental impact assessment of NO2 emissions from a cement complex
Kanyanee Seangkiatiyuth1 , Vanisa Surapipith2 , Kraichat Tantrakarnapa3 , Anchaleeporn W. Lothongkum1,
1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, King Mongkuts Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok 10520, Thailand. E-mail: kwanchal@kmitl.ac.th 2. Air Quality and Noise Management Bureau, Pollution Control Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Bangkok 10400, Thailand. E-mail: vanisa.s@pcd.go.th 3. Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand Received 02 July 2010; revised 19 January 2011; accepted 18 February 2011

Abstract We applied the model of American Meteorological Society-Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model (AERMOD) as a tool for the analysis of nitrogen dioxide (NO2 ) emissions from a cement complex as a part of the environmental impact assessment. The dispersion of NO2 from four cement plants within the selected cement complex were investigated both by measurement and AERMOD simulation in dry and wet seasons. Simulated values of NO2 emissions were compared with those obtained during a 7-day continuous measurement campaign at 12 receptors. It was predicted that NO2 concentration peaks were found more within 1 to 5 km, where the measurement and simulation were in good agreement, than at the receptors 5 km further away from the reference point. The QuantileQuantile plots of NO2 concentrations in dry season were mostly tted to the middle line compared to those in wet season. This can be attributed to high NO2 wet deposition. The results show that for both the measurement and the simulation using the AERMOD, NO2 concentrations do not exceed the NO2 concentration limit set by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) of Thailand. This indicates that NO2 emissions from the cement complex have no signicant impact on nearby communities. It can be concluded that the AERMOD can provide useful information to identify high pollution impact areas for the EIA guidelines. Key words: AERMOD; environmental impact assessment; Gaussian model; air pollutants; NO2 ; cement plant DOI: 10.1016/S1001-0742(10)60499-8 Citation: Seangkiatiyuth K, Surapipith V, Tantrakarnapa K, Lothongkum A W, 2011. Application of the AERMOD modeling system for environmental impact assessment of NO2 emissions from a cement complex. Journal of Environmental Sciences, 23(6): 931 940

Introduction
Chronic exposure to air pollutants is a worldwide problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that every year approximately 2.7 millions deaths can be attributed through air pollution. Over the past decades, long-term exposure of humans to nonlethal air pollutants and the eects of air pollutants on global and regional atmospheric cycles have been studied intensively. Especially, ozone (O3 ), total suspended particulates (TSP), particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead and other toxins have been the special focus of investigations due to their health impact (Kirk-Othmer, 2007). Thailand is a main grey cement manufacturer and exporter. The annual production of 46 Mega-tons of clinker and 56 Mega-tons of cement is met by 18 cement plants and 31 kilns that are operated by nine manufacturers (TC* Corresponding author. E-mail: kwanchal@kmitl.ac.th

MA, 2008). In the vicinity of the selected cement complex in this study, the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) can be attributed to two major sources, i.e., the cement burning process at high temperatures about 1500C and emissions from vehicle transportation. These emissions are typically composed of a mixture of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2 ) (Wark et al., 1998; Alsop, 2005). Generally, the amount of NOx in the ue gas from cement kilns increases with the combustion temperature, the main component being NO. At ambient temperature and excess oxygen, NO is subsequently oxidized to NO2 which is a precursor to nitric acid. NO2 is toxic by inhalation and causes irritation to humans eye, nose and throat (Wark et al., 1998). It is a meso-scale pollutant with a lifetime in the range of 13 days (Perkins, 1974). NOx disperses widely and can react with O3 and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to secondary PM. It is an atmospheric pollutant of primary concern in industrial nations that has been targeted for reduction and control in the United States by long-

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standing regulation setting since 1971 for both a primary standard (to protect health) and a secondary standard (to protect the public welfare) at 0.053 parts per million (53 ppb), averaged annually. Most recently US EPA (2010) imposes air quality threshold by that 1 hour average NO2 values should not exceed 100 ppb. To meet these legislative goals and minimize negative health impacts, it is important to understand how an atmospheric pollutant is dispersed in the atmosphere. When a gas is released from a source it is carried away by the wind and dispersed in the air. Accordingly, its maximum concentration can be found at the point of release. Due to turbulent mixing of the releasing gas with air the downwind concentrations are comparatively low. Gas dispersion is aected by a number of parameters, for example, wind speed and direction, atmospheric stability, ground conditions (buildings, mountains, trees, water), and height of the release above ground level (Crowl and Louvar, 2002). In order to limit the environmental impact in the vicinity of cement plants, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand requires the cement manufacturers to submit an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report twice a year stating both negative and positive activities regarding the ongoing and future projects as well as signicant activities. In addition, the EIA report requires statements about the emissions of air pollutants such as TSP, particulate matter with diameter less than 10 m (PM10 ), NO2 , SO2 and CH4 . Other pollutants may be reported depending on particular conditions of each cement manufacturer. Additional reports may be required if the cement manufacturers modify or expand their processes or change their types of fuel. The EIA, therefore, has proven to be a very useful management to limit the environmental impacts, and to respond to related concerns of communities and agencies. One of the problems cement manufacturers face when complying an EIA report is that frequently target areas are not accessible for monitoring equipment, in these cases computer simulations are required to estimate concentrations in those areas. The simulations have to be compared with measurements in the accessible areas. Computer based dispersion models can simulate these eects very well. Dispersion software programs based on Gaussian plume equation have been widely applied to estimate the dispersions of various pollutants. The American Meteorology Society-Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model (AERMOD), a software package based on Gaussian plume equation, is recommended for air quality simulations by the US EPA (2005). It has been accepted by the Oce of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand to be used for EIA evaluation. As the AERMOD can incorporate various complex algorithms and concepts, it has been applied to evaluate the dispersion of a number of pollutants, including PM10 , hydrogen cyanide (HCN), SO2 , sulfur hexauoride (SF6 ), VOCs (Venkatram et al., 2001, 2004, 2009; Bhardwaj et al., 2005; Orlo et al., 2006; Zou et al., 2009, 2010).

Besides these pollutants, the dispersion of heavy metals, such as hexavalent chromium and total gaseous mercury (TGM) can also be simulated with the AERMOD (Sax and Isakov, 2003; Mazur et al., 2009). Where upper meteorological data are not available, the AERMOD can be coupled with meteorological models such as the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF), Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS), the Fifth-Generation National Center Atmospheric Research (NCAR)/Pennsylvania State University Mesoscale Model (MM5), and Eta Models (Caputo et al., 2003; Kesarkar, 2007; Isakov et al., 2007). Moreover, the AERMOD can be used with regional models, e.g., Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) and HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) for complex case applications (Stein et al., 2007). Because the AERMOD has no reaction module it cannot simulate the conversion of NO to NO2 in the air directly. While the AERMOD is extensively used in the US and Europe, in Thailand the reliability of the simulation results, particularly the trajectory of NO2 emission by the AERMOD, is still in debate. The reason is that the AERMOD has been developed and optimized based on the climatic and geological conditions in the US and Europe. This current work applied the AERMOD to analyze NO2 emissions from a selected cement complex consisting of four plants with a combined production representing 43% of total capacity in the country.

1 Methodology
1.1 Study areas As shown in Fig. 1, the selected cement complex is located about 108 km northeast of Bangkok in lime stone mountain area next to the highway of heavy transportation. It comprises of four major cement plants with the total of 14 cement stacks. The four plants are located within 25 km radius. One cement plant in the center of the cluster was designated as the reference point for the receptor distances and identied as cement plant 1. The area of surrounding communities is 801.1 km2 with a population density of 79 people/km2 (DOPA, 2010). Most of the population is farmers. The east side of the study areas is high plains and plateaus near a National Park, which consists of complex mountains of high peaks about 800 to 1300 m above sea level. The regional climate is dominated by northeast and southwest monsoons with dierent rainfall and temperature characteristics. The northeast monsoon (dry season) from the central of the Asia continent brings relatively cool and dry air around the middle of November to April. The southwest monsoon (wet season) from the Indian Ocean is characterized by periods of intense rain from May to October with some thunderstorm convection activity. The average rain fall in the study areas is about 1600 mm with 80% during the wet season. The average temperatures in the dry season range from 1336C and in the wet season from 1937C.

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Saraburi province Laos

Wang Muang

Muak Lek

Thailand

Phra Phutthabat Chaloem Nong Don Don Phut

Saraburi Bangkok

Kaeng Phra Kiat Ban Mo Khoi Sao N station Hai K station Nong Mueang Saeng Saraburi Nong Khae

Myanmar

Nakhon Ratchasima Province P station N

Andaman Sea

B station Cambodia Gulf of Thailand

Wihan Daeng Cement plants Receptors

Meteorological station

Indian Ocean

Malaysia Distance from the reference point (km) 1.47 2.35 2.47 3.44 3.58 3.64 3.90 4.87 6.07 6.65 7.38 9.12

1630

Cement plant 4

Receptor 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

1625 UTM Y (km) Cement Plant 3 Cement Plant 2 3

11

12 10

1620

8 1615 Main road 9

5 Cement 1 Plant 1 6 2 4

1610 710

720 UTM X (km)

730

740

Fig. 1 Study area location and 12 receptors of the cement complex.

1.2 NO2 emissions and ambient air measurement At ambient temperature, an equilibrium calculation of NO2 concentration was greater than that of NO, and thus NOx emission is considered as NO2 emission. According to the regulation, the cement complex source owners are required to report their emissions annually. As described in the EIA reports, the NOx emissions (mainly NO2 ) were detected at 14 stacks of the cement plants by the US EPA Method 7 (CFR, 1993). The stack sampling was carried out by environmental specialists. The present study considers the case of maximum NO2 emission for the highest production scenario of 24-hr operation. The total NO2 emission rate sampling from 14 stacks was 1238 g/sec.

The NO2 concentrations in ambient air at 12 receptors were measured continuously for 7 days according to the typical routine EIA by the Chemiluminescence Method in March, 2007 (dry season) and in October and November, 2007 (wet season). The 12 receptor sites were located in the residential areas, 1 to 10 km from the reference point, as a part of the manufacturers mandate to monitor potential health eects (Fig. 1). Some of the receptors were located between the cement plants. No receptor was located near the cement plant 4 because it had low production with only 1 stack and was therefore considered negligible. In this respect, a single chemiluminescence instrument was rotated among the receptor sites to record 1-hr averaged data, occupying each receptor site for a one-week interval.

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Journal of Environmental Sciences 2011, 23(6) 931940 / Kanyanee Seangkiatiyuth et al. Table 1 Locations and details of the meteorological stations Distance from the reference point (km) 21 24 25 120

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Meteorological stations K N P B

Collected data by PCD PCD TMD TMD

Meteorological parameters Surface air data: G, P1 , RH, T 10 m: WD, WS1 (hourly basis data) Surface air data: G, P1 , RH, T 10 m: WD, WS1 (hourly basis data) Surface air data: P2 , RH, T 10 m: WD, WS2 CH, CV (3-hr basis data) Surface air data: P2 , RH, T 10 m: WD, WS2 , CH, CV (3-hr basis data) upper air data: DWPT, H, P2 , RH, T, WD, WS2

Direction to the reference point SW WNW E SSW

G (W/m2 ): global radiation; P1 (mmHg), P2 (hPa): pressure; RH (%): relative humidity; T (C): dry bulb temperature; WD: wind direction (degree from the North); WS1 (m/sec), WS2 (knot): wind speed; CH (m): ceiling height; CV (tenths): cloud cover; DWPT (C): dew point temperature; H (m): height above sea level;.

1.3 Meteorological measurement Table 1 shows the locations and details of the meteorological stations. Stations K and N were the meteorological and air quality monitoring stations of the Pollution Control Department (PCD), and had no cloud cover or ceiling height information available. Station P was the meteorological station of the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) located near a National Park. The surface wind speeds and directions from K, N and P stations at 10 m above the ground were used in the meteorological analysis to evaluate the primary impact areas due to NO2 emissions from the cement complex. The wind speeds and directions from stations K and N were 1-hr averaged data, and 3-hr averaged data for P. To run the AERMOD modeling system, the surface meteorological data were received from station K but cloud cover and ceiling height were obtained from station P. The upper meteorological data from radiosonde ascents, necessary for accurate simulation of the wind elds, were received from station B of the TMD. Although station B was located in Bangkok over 100 km southwest from the cement complex, it was the nearest radiosonde balloon launching site. 1.4 AERMOD modeling The AERMOD was developed from the Industrial Sources Complex Short Term Model (ISCST3) by incorporation more complex algorithms and concepts, i.e., planetary boundary layer (PBL) theory and advanced methods for complex terrains. As with ISCST3, the AERMOD is considered accurate for dispersion modeling at distances not exceeding 50 km from the emission source (US EPA, 2005). The model is composed of three parts: AERMOD Meteorological Preprocessor (AERMET), AERMOD Terrain Preprocessor (AERMAP) and AERMOD Gaussian Plume Model with the PBL modules. The sequences of model operations are shown in Fig. 2. The AERMET processes the hourly surface and upper meteorological data. The surface parameter coecients for the AERMET module (specifying land-used types and surface roughness for boundary layer dynamics) were set to summer conditions for both the wet and dry season model simulations of the climate in Thailand; i.e., the closest analogue for the seasonal conditions for the U.S. and Canada where the
Data input Source data Geological data Meteorological data

AERMAP Preprocessing

Meteorological modeling

AERMET

Dispersion modeling

AERMOD dispersion model

Postprocessing

WRPLOT view

Post view

Fig. 2 Data ow in the AERMOD modeling.

model was developed. The second module, AERMAP, is used for processing the terrain data in conjunction with a layout of receptors and emission sources to be used for the AERMOD control les. The AERMOD modeling system used in this work was run with a commercial interface, ISC-AERMOD View (Version 4.6.2) (Lakes Environmental Software, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada). The simulation was carried out under a complex terrain with grid spacing of 0.5 km for the domain UTM X (701 to 740.5 km) and Y (1602 to 1641.5 km). Although atmospheric reactions for removing NOx were in the model, wet and dry deposition loss parameterizations were included as a loss mechanism. The AERMOD guidelines (US EPA, 2009, 2010) recommend to evaluate NOx concentrations as follows: Tier 1 estimates ambient NOx concentration by assuming full conversion of NO to NO2 based on the application of an appropriate rened modeling technique under Section 4.2.2 of Appendix W; Tier 2 multiplies Tier 1 result by empirically-derived NO2 / NOx ratio, with 0.75 as the annual national default ratio; Tier 3 is the detailed screening methods considering a caseby-case basis with the Ozone Limiting Method (OLM) for point sources. Both surface and upper meteorological data inputs for

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the AERMOD were obtained from station measurements. In this case, the method based on Tier 1 was used because NO was oxidized to NO2 at ambient temperature. Therefore, instead of using NOx as the input data in the AERMOD, the NO2 emissions were input directly. Finally, 1-hr averaged NO2 concentrations from the measurement and simulation were compared. The NO2 concentrations at 12 receptors were simulated by discrete grid mode in the AERMOD. The coordinates of NO2 emission sources, meteorological stations and receptors were read from the orthographical image (scale 1:25,000), which was an aerial photography purchased from the Land Development Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The terrain data for the AERMAP were extracted from the GTOPO30, which was available online at http://www.src.com. It is known that a substantial constraint of using the Gaussian equations accurately to simulate gas dispersion is due to a low wind speed or calm wind less than 0.5 m/sec (Schnelle and Dey, 2000), which is not signicant to mathematical evaluation by the AERMOD. To overcome this problem, the performance of the AERMOD in predicting the trajectory of NO2 emissions is evaluated by the Quantile-Quantile (Q-Q) plots. The Q-Q plots are created by rst ranking the hourly measured and simulated concentrations, and then pairing them by rank. The ranked vectors are then plotted as a conventional scatter diagram. A line of unit slope shows where the measured and modeled concentrations are equal. The lines of half and double slope indicate under and over prediction respectively. The middle line of the Q-Q plot shows equal concentration of the measurement and simulation; the other two lines (above and below the middle line) mark double levels and half levels of the measurement and simulation, representing over and under prediction, respectively (Wilks, 2006; Zou et al., 2010). Perfect agreement between the measured and modeled concentrations is indicated by all data plotting on the unit slope. Possible model transport problems are indicated the lowest and highest model concentrations falling o the line. Osets of the median values indicate a more serious problem where atmospheric reactions or deposition mechanisms may not be included in the model.

example in Fig. 3, during the northeast monsoon (dry season) the station measurements were dominated by the easterly winds, not the expected northeast winds, indicating consistency with an Ekman boundary circulation. In addition, at K station, which was nearest to the residential areas, southerly and westerly winds were observed, due to ow modication by local buildings: an urban canyon eect. The maximum wind speeds at K, N and P stations were 5.5, 5.8 and 12.3 m/sec, while intervals when there was no recorded wind (i.e., below the instrument detection limit) were 7.1%, 4.4% and 42.7% of the complete time series, respectively. For the wet season, the westerly and south-westerly winds dominated N and P stations, whereas at K station was dominated by the south-easterly wind, again due to distortions of the wind eld by nearby buildings. For the wet season, the maximum wind speeds at K, N, and P stations were 6.6, 5.8 and 15.4 m/sec, respectively, while the percentage of time that the winds were below the instrument detection limit were 6.9%, 17.7% and 47.8%. Station P, located near low mountains, showed a pronounced mountain-breeze eect with a larger fraction of time when the winds were below the instrument detection limit. The wind analysis therefore indicates that the ow over the study region is complicated, subject to local distortion eects, and not optimally structured for the AERMOD to simulate a uniform plume. The combination of data from all meteorological stations was therefore used for the AERMOD program. The performance of the model to describe the impact of NO2 emissions from the cement plants was considered at the best available ensemble data. 2.2 Evaluation of NO2 concentrations by measurement and AERMOD simulation From Fig. 1, it can be seen that of the 12 receptors in this investigation, four are located near the road: 1, 2, 5 and 6. Thus, the time-series plots of NO2 concentrations from these receptors, shown in Fig. 4, were particularly inuenced by road trac. The relevant NO2 concentration peaks showed recurring cycles and appeared periodically in accordance with transportation activities. For example, high NO2 peaks of a 7-day continuous measurement were found at night time (around 19:003:00) from ow of big trucks. Typically, NO2 deposition reactions occur in both wet and dry environments. Bai et al. (2006) found that NO2 deposition rate was 1.6 times higher in a wet environment compared with a dry environment, suggesting that signicant concentrations of NO2 would be detected especially in the dry season. The 1-hr averaged concentrations of NO2 monitored at 12 receptors were 2135 g/m3 in the dry season, and were 0105 g/m3 in the wet season. The maximum NO2 concentration in the dry season was slightly higher than the wet season. The NO2 time-series plots in Fig. 5 do not show a pronounced eect of season on the atmospheric mixing ratios, and this may be due to the small seasonal variation of temperatures between the wet and dry seasons. The simulation results by the AERMOD modeling sys-

2 Results and discussion


2.1 Meteorological analysis The wind elds recorded at the meteorological stations showed the patterns that reected large scale monsoonal circulations and daily mountain-valley breezes, modied by local topographic conditions. Figure 3 shows windrose plots constructed from data recorded at K, N and P stations shown separately for the dry and wet seasons. Generally, the daily climate is inuenced by seasonal winds (both northeast and southwest monsoons) and mountain-valley breezes. However, because the winds recorded at meteorological stations were surface winds inuenced by boundary layer eects, their windrose patterns did not correspond closely to the direction of the seasonal monsoons. For

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North North 25% 20% 15% 10% West 5% East 4% West East 8%

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P station

P station
12%

20% 16%

Cement plants Receptors

Calm 42.68%
South

Calm 47.83%
South

Meteorological station

Dry season

Wet season

N 1000

P station

Height above sea level (m) Cement plant 4 Cement plant 3 N station 1640 7

11

12 10 3

500

Cement plant 2 5 Cement plant 1 1 2 4 750 740

1635

1625

N station
10% 8% 6% 4% 2% West East

1630

North

K station 1620 720 1615 1610 710 1605 1600 700 1595

730

UT

Y(

TM

X(

km

km

Wind speed (m/sec) 6.0 4.0-6.0 3.0-4.0 2.0-3.0

Calm 4.41%
South

(a) Dry season


North

N station
10% 8% 6% 4% 2% West East West

Kao Noi K station


9% 6% 3%

North

North 15% 12% 9% 6% 3% East West East

K station

15% 12%

1.0-2.0 0.5-1.0

Calm 17.70%
South

Calm 7.14%
South South

Calm 6.86% (b) Wet season

(b) Wet season

(a) Dry season

Fig. 3 Windroses of the three meteorological stations in the study domain.

tem were next compared with the monitoring results by the receptors. At the receptors 2 and 6 about 1 to 5 km from the reference point, the simulation results for the dry season showed peaks of higher NO2 concentration compared with the receptor 11 located 7.5 km away from the reference point. The monitoring and simulation results showed almost the same trend. In case of wet season, NO2 concentration peaks were found at the receptor 6 but a few at the receptors 2 and 11. According to safety thresholds for 1-hr average, NO2 concentrations issued by the NAAQS (320 g/m3 ; PCD, 1995) and by the Guidelines of WHO (200 g/m3 ; WHO, 2005), most of NO2 emissions from the cement complex, as indicated both by measurement and the AERMOD simulation, showed no signicant impact on nearby communities. However, it is worth noting that the NO2 emissions and monitoring

depend on several factors, i.e., wind speed and direction, humidity, ambient temperature, ceiling height and monitoring location, including wet and dry depositions of NO2 and the reactions of NO2 with O3 and VOCs to secondary PM. Not all of these factors were eectively simulated by the model, and therefore the model simulation of the measurements may not be totally accurate. The simulation results at receptors greater than 5 km away from the reference point (e.g., the receptor 11 in the target area) were especially problematic, and it would be uncertain if the US EPA distance threshold of 50 km was applicable for the complex terrain and wind elds of this tropical setting. In short, the current application of the AERMOD is limited due to the following reasons: (1) there is no module for NO2 deposition reactions; (2) model output is considered on a 1-hr average time scale instead of longer

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150 NO2 concentration (g/m3) NO2 concentration (g/m3) Receptor 1 120 90 60 30 13:00 21:00 5:00 13:00 21:00 5:00 13:00 21:00 5:00 13:00 21:00 5:00 13:00 21:00 5:00 13:00 21:00 5:00 13:00 21:00 5:00 0

150 Receptor 2 120 90 60 30 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 Local time at 09-15 (Fri-Thurs) Mar 2007 150 NO2 concentration (g/m3) Receptor 5 Receptor 6 120 90 60 30 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 0 0

Local time at 10-16 (Sat-Fri) Mar 2007 150 NO2 concentration (g/m3) 120 90 60 30 0

14:00 22:00 6:00 14:00 22:00 6:00 14:00 22:00 6:00 14:00 22:00 6:00 14:00 22:00 6:00 14:00 22:00 6:00 14:00 22:00 6:00

Local time at 02-08 (Fri-Thurs) Mar 2007 Local time at 02-08 (Fri-Thurs) Mar 2007 Fig. 4 Examples of NO2 concentrations measured in dry season. Time labeled on X-axis is local time.

time; (30 scales of 24-hr or more (the AERMOD is highly sensitive to dierent time scales as reported by Bhardwaj, 2005 and Zou et al., 2010); (4) the NO2 dispersion is calculated based on the input emission of the AERMOD which does not change with time (US EPA, 2009); and (5) there are signicant intervals of time when the wind speed is lower than 1 m/sec and too low to eectively simulate the transport of a pollution plume. 2.3 AERMOD performance evaluation The Q-Q plots of modeled and measured NO2 mixing ratios at the locations of the receptor sites are shown in Fig. 6. The Q-Q plots at the receptors 1 to 9 (i.e., the sites located within 6 km of the cement plants) in the dry season were mostly tted to the middle line compared to those of the wet season. From Fig. 6, the Q-Q plots highlighted the higher performance of AERMOD in the NO2 simulation for the dry season in comparison with the wet season due to enhanced deposition reactions in the wet environment. High humidity and low temperature in the atmosphere in the wet season resulted in low NO2 dispersion due to uptake by vegetative and ground sources. However, it was found that most of the receptors were under-predicted. This reects the fact that emission from sources other than the cement stacks plays higher role at those receptors. 2.4 Evaluation of NO2 impact areas by the AERMOD As seen in Table 2, the maximum concentration of NO2 by the AERMOD in dry season (562 g/m3 ) and wet season (548 g/m3 ) were much higher than the legislation of 320 g/m3 (0.17 ppm) issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand (PCD, 1995). These

maximum modeled concentrations occurred at short time intervals of approximately 144 and 62 hr in the dry and wet season case studies, and impact areas of 123 and 227 km2 within the model domain, respectively. There was general agreement between the AERMOD and the measured values as part of the Q-Q analysis. However, there were some diculties in the model simulations of extreme NO2 concentrations, and the maximum AERMOD concentrations were not necessarily supported by measured data. The simulation results agreed with the Q-Q plots. However, because the maximum concentration of NO2 monitoring at the receptors was 1-hr average in 7-day continuous measurement, and because of the constraints of receptor locations due to accessibility, therefore, it was possible that the maximum NO2 concentration was not likely detected during the measurement period.

3 Conclusions
For the environmental impact assessment, it is highly recommended to simultaneously conrm the results between the measurement and simulation. In this case study, a 7-day continuous measurement of NO2 emissions showed no signicant impact on the environment but it was clearly observed by AERMOD simulation. It is most likely attributed to the limitation of a short-time measurement. The simulation results can help the policy makers to identify the areas of high pollution exposure risk for the EIA guidelines. However, in this work it is found that the AERMOD program is limited in prediction air pollutants at the distance 5 km further away from the reference point,

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Receptor 2

250 NO2 concentration (g/m3) 200 150 100 50

NO2 concentration (g/m3)

Dry season

250
Receptor 2 Wet season

200 150 100 50 0

15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00

Local time at 10-15 (Sat-Fri) Mar 2007


150

NO2 concentration (g/m3)

NO2 concentration (g/m3)

Dry season 120 90 60 30 0

Receptor 6

150 Wet season 120 90 60 30

11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00

Local time at 02-08 (Sat-Fri) Mar 2007


150 150

NO2 concentration (g/m3)

NO2 concentration (g/m3)

Dry season 120 90 60 30 0

Receptor 11

120 90 60 30 0

Local time at 20-26 (Sat-Fri) Oct 2007 Local time at 09-15 (Sat-Fri) Mar 2007 Fig. 5 Examples of NO2 concentrations in dry and wet seasons. Solid line by measurements and dashed line by AERMOD; time labeled on X-axis is local time.
Table 2 Scenario Dry season Wet season The maximum 1-hr averaged NO2 concentrations in dry and wet seasons predicted by the AERMOD Local station time 26th December 2007 at 9.00 a.m. 8th October 2007 at 8.00 a.m. UTM X, Y (km) 722.5, 1618.5 727.5, 1617.0 Impact area (km2 )* 123 227 Details of impact areas Agricultural area between cement plants 1 and 3 Agricultural area near cement plant 1 and beside the main road

* Impact area is the area with the exposure of NO2 concentration higher than 320 g/m3 .

15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00 15:00 23:00 7:00

NO2 maximum concentration (g/m3 ) 562 548

particularly in wet season. It is noteworthy to be aware that the AERMOD is a dispersion model without the reaction module while NO2 deposition reactions certainly occur in wet and dry environments. For a more precise estimation of NO2 concentrations, the AERMOD model incorporating with the reaction module is required. Finally, in order to estimate more precise impact from NO2 emissions it is

recommended to have permanent monitoring stations as well as to compare the measurement results with the simulation results from more than 1 model, e.g., the AERMOD including NO2 reaction module, California Pu Dispersion Model (CALPUFF), etc. Nevertheless, this study shows that the AERMOD model can be applied to environmental impact assessment management.

19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00 19:00 3:00 11:00

18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00

10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00 10:00 18:00 2:00

Local time at 20-26 (Sat-Fri) Oct 2007

Receptor 2 Receptor 6

Local time at 12-18 (Fri-Thur) Oct 2007


Dry season Wet season Receptor 11

No. 6

Application of the AERMOD modeling system for environmental impact assessment of NO2 emissions from a cement complex

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150 Receptor 5 120 Simulated 90 60 30 0 R2 = 0.87 Dry season 0 30 60 90 Measured 120 150 Simulated

150 Receptor 7 120 90 60 30 0 R2 = 0.91 Dry season 0 30 60 90 Measured 120 150

150 Receptor 5 120 Simulated 90 60 30 0 R2 = 0.47 Wet season 0 30 60 90 Measured 120 150 Simulated

150 Receptor 7 120 90 60 30 0 R2 = 0.50 Wet season 0 30

60 90 120 150 Measured Fig. 6 Examples of Q-Q plots of hourly NO2 concentrations in dry and wet seasons: slope = 1 (solid line); slope = 2, 0.5 (dashed lines for the factor-of-two, model acceptable limit, within the over and under estimation).

Acknowledgments The authors deeply express sincere thanks to the Royal Golden Jubilee Ph.D program (IUG50K0021), Thailand Research Fund (TRF) for the nancial support. Appreciations also go to the Air Quality and Noise Management Bureau, Pollution Control Department, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment; the Thai Meteorological Department; Faculty of Engineering, King Mongkuts Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Thailand, Dr. Anthony James Kettle, SUNY-Oswego, New York, USA; and our cement complex partner.

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