American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Oil Refineries Emissions Impact on Urban Localities Using AERMOD

Amira Mohamed Wahba Abdelrasoul, Amir AL-Hadad and Abdul Rehman Khan

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2010.505.515

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 6, Issue 6

Pages 505-515


Problem statement: The absolute necessity of compulsory fuel utilities, no matter small or big has resulted into substantial high hazards pollutants. Petroleum refineries are major industrial installations that are necessary for providing the best suited fuel for various necessary utilities, but are responsible of the emission of several hazardous pollutants into the atmosphere. Hydrocarbons are among the most perilous air pollutants that are emitted from almost all refining processes in petroleum refineries. Approach: Every day leaks and gaseous discharge from relief valves and liquid discharge, which are often directed to knock-out drums, are flared to minimize the impact of hydrocarbons emissions. But these flares are not that efficient and result into partial discharge of pollutants that have severe impact on the industrial area and urban localities in the vicinity of industrial refining complex. Results: In the present study, a thorough investigation has been completed to estimate the total emissions of sulfur dioxide SO2 and non methane hydrocarbons NMHC (VOCs) and to assess their impact on the air quality in industrial and suburban areas. The latest version AMS/EPA Regulatory Model (AERMOD) specially designed to support the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s was used to predict the ground level concentrations of SO2, VOCs from AL-Ahmadi and Al-Shuiba Refineries of total refining capacity of 646 thousand barrels/day. Conclusion/Recommendations: These concentrations are compared with EPA standards to indicate the ambient air quality. The dispersion model was corroborated with extensive one year hourly record of the surface and upper air meteorological data for year 2006 and emission rates of the specified pollutants, with detailed refinery stacks parameters, such as stack height, diameter, exit flue gas velocity and temperature to determine the fraction of total study area in the vicinity of refineries that had substantially high concentration of these pollutants. It’s found that 10 % of selected area under study has exceedance for SO2, 13 % exceedance for non-methane hydrocarbons NMHC, and there is no exceedance for NO2 which is considered about 50 % of total NOx emissions.


© 2010 Amira Mohamed Wahba Abdelrasoul, Amir AL-Hadad and Abdul Rehman Khan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.