Environmental effects of thermal power plant emissions : a case study

Memon, Ejaz (2000) Environmental effects of thermal power plant emissions : a case study. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

During the last 20-25 years, Saudi Arabia has made remarkable progress in developing industrial infrastructure, with hundreds of billions of dollars invested in the energy sector. The power generation capacity during the last 20-25 years has increased by several folds in Saudi Arabia. However, like every other development, the power generation industry also has some environmental externalities and concerns. Some of these concerns are related to the emissions of primary pollutants and their human health, environmental and atmospheric effects. The emissions from thermal power plants include sulfur dioxide (SO₂), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM), organic compounds and toxic metals such as lead, arsenic and cadmium. -- An attempt is made in this study to assess the environmental effects resulting from massive development in energy sector in Saudi Arabia. The emission inventory of thermal power plants was developed using AP-42 emission factors. Two dispersion models selected after detailed evaluation were: (a) HYsplit4, which is a long range transport model, and (b) ISCST3, which is a U. S. EPA approved model for short range modeling. The former model is used to assess regional effects of thermal power plant emissions in Saudi Arabia, and the later is used to assess the effects of a power plant, in local communities. The future expansion of a power plant's generation capacity and alternate energy sources are also studied using these models. -- The estimated pollutant levels were compared with the Meteorological and Environmental Protection Agency (MEPA) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for quantification of adverse effects. The HYsplit4 model was used to estimate total particulate deposition as well as SO₂ and NOx ambient concentrations from power plants' emissions in the Arabian Peninsula including Saudi Arabia and the Gulf regions. The ISCST3 model was used to simulate the ambient concentrations of SO₂, NOx, CO and PM within a 25 km radius for a power plant located in Eastern Saudi Arabia. Different simulation scenarios were also developed to study the effects of altered operational routine and fuel options on pollutant concentrations at desired or critical locations. -- In order to reduce the pollution level with growing demands in the power sector, a fuel switching option i.e. a combination of crude oil and natural gas was also studied. It was found that the fuel switching option would be an economically viable option. However, a detailed investigation under site-specific meteorological conditions should be carried out with reliable data and fuel characteristics and plant specific information.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1308
Item ID: 1308
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 154-164.
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Saudi Arabia
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Electric power-plants--Environmental aspects--Saudi Arabia; Air--Pollution--Saudi Arabia--Measurement

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