Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Evaluating Human Exposure to Emission from Incineration Plant Using AERMOD Dispersion Modeling

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Evaluating Human Exposure to Emission from Incineration Plant Using AERMOD Dispersion Modeling

Article excerpt


There are different methods for the disposal of industrial wastes; incineration is one of the availa- ble options. Although this method of treatment reduces the volume of solid wastes significantly and possibly with thermal energy recovery, it is susceptible to emit toxic emissions (1). Among different emissions caused by incineration, heavy metals are of most concern in air pollution mat- ters (2). The identification of heavy metals level emitted from incinerators has been investigated in several studies (3- 5). The high levels of exposure to heavy metals emissions such as Pb, Cd, As and Hg from this process are important due to their negative health and environmental effects (6, 7). The World Health Organization (WHO) Interna- tional Agency for Research on Cancer has consid- ered the carcinogenic effects of As, Cr and Cd (8, 9) and the neurotoxicity effects of lead and mer- cury. Thus, regulations imposed on industrial emissions are necessary in human and environ- mental health protection. Fortunately, air disper- sion models are available to assess and evaluate the impact of these industrial sources into the sur- rounding environment. Studies have shown that air pollution dispersion models are accurate and suitable in forecasting pollutant dispersion and managing urban air quality (10, 11).

The application of different atmospheric dispersion models for example SCREEN, ISC and AERMOD in different situations has been addressed in the va- riety of literatures (12- 17). Patel and Kumar com- pared SCREEN and ISC dispersion models for mercury releases and concluded that ISC predicts emission dispersion better than SCREEN while SCREEN presents a more conservative result in considering the worst scenario (12).

The simulation of hydrogen cyanide concentrations have been analysed in the ambient air during gold extraction from ores by running ISCST3 and AER- MOD dispersion models under rural and complex train options. The authors found that the predicted concentrations with ISCST3 exceed the measured concentration by an average factor of 2.4, while AERMOD predicted a lower value with an average factor of 0.76. Although the leach field is located in a rural area, the sensitivity assessment of the models based on both rural and urban options showed that the concentrations predicted were more precise with urban option. The results also showed that AER- MOD model is more efficient in handling complex terrain compared to ISCST3 and setting the ISCST3 with urban option whereas reduces its shortcoming in complex terrain conditions (18). Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) behaviour emitting from a steel plant in northwest was investigated in Italy us- ing AERMOD. The authors found that the predict- ed concentrations of pollutants from the steel plant were lower than the measured concentration in the monitoring station, indicating some other air pollu- tion sources that contribute to the measured con- centrations in the area (17). The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of heavy metals emission for example Pb, As, Cd, and Hg from an incinera- tion plant using the AERMOD dispersion model. The emission inputs were based on the actual and standard emission limits imposed for such a facility.

Materials and Methods

Location and Description of the Incineration Plant

An incineration plant is a solution to many develop- ing countries for an incineration facility deals with industrial waste in the most environmentally friendly manner. The plant is designed and built on the prin- ciples of its ability to treat a wide variety of wastes, lower down time, operation and maintenance cost. The plant is equipped with a unit of fabric filter along with lime and activated carbon injection as the flue gas cleaning agent and a wet scrubber system. The plant is divided into four main sections includ- ing the feeding system, combustion, heat reduction and recovery unit and the air pollution control sys- tem as depicted in Fig. …

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