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Soot and SO2 contribution to the supersites in the MILAGRO campaign from elevated flares in the Tula Refinery

by V. H. Almanza, L. T. Molina, G. Sosa
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()

Abstract

This work presents a simulation of the plume tra- 1 Introduction jectory emitted by flaring activities of the Miguel Hidalgo
Refinery in Mexico. The flame of a representative sour gas
flare is modeled with a CFD combustion code in order to estimate emission rates of combustion by-products of inter- est for air quality: acetylene, ethylene, nitrogen oxides, car- bon monoxide, soot and sulfur dioxide. The emission rates of NO2 and SO2 were compared with measurements ob- tained at Tula as part of MILAGRO field campaign. The rates of soot, VOCs and CO emissions were compared with es- timates obtained by Instituto Mexicano del Petro ́leo (IMP). The emission rates of these species were further included in WRF-Chem model to simulate the chemical transport of the plume from 22 to 27 March of 2006. The model presents re- liable performance of the resolved meteorology, with respect to the Mean Absolute Error (MAE), Root Mean Square Er- ror (RMSE), mean bias (BIAS), vector RMSE and Index of Agreement (IOA). WRF-Chem outputs of SO2and soot were compared with surface measurements obtained at the three supersites of MI- LAGRO campaign. The results suggest a contribution of Tula flaring activities to the total SO2 levels of 18 % to 27 % at the urban supersite (T0), and of 10 % to 18 % at the suburban su- persite (T1). For soot, the model predicts low contribution at the three supersites, with less than 0.1 % at three supersites. According to the model, the greatest contribution of both pol- lutants to the three supersites occurred on 23 March, which coincides with the third cold surge event reported during the campaign.

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