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Calibration and Validation oS Air Quality

Models and Preparation of Emission Inventory

Dr. C.V. Chalapati Rao
Deputy Director

Air Pollution Control Division, NEERI, Nagpur - 440020

1.1 Preamble

The knowledge derived, on the nature of impacts and the suitability of

techniques for predicting and managing them, is highly relevant to the design and
management of future projects in a developing country like India where number
of EIA studies have been carried out during the past few years. The model
validation studies therefore, not only serve to improve the management of
individual projects by 'fine tuning' mitigation, they also facilitate learning from
experience and in so doing, serve to improve the process and practice of
prediction exercise.

Realising the need for conducting studies in this direction to provide

means for achieving the above and to convert prediction exercise in EIA from a
static to a reiterative process which incorporates feedback and readjustment,
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi, sponsored
a project with National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI),

National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has

conducted several Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies for different
types of industries located in different parts of the country. Two major industries
for which NEERI has conducted EIA studies prior to construction and are in
operation at present were selected for these studies. These also include studies
conducted at Hazira, (Coastal region) and in inland area. Studies were conducted
at the plant and in the study area to facilitate the collection of data required for
comparing pre-project status and post-project status and calibration and
validation of air quality models used for prediction of impacts on air quality and

some of the salient features / results of the studies conducted in Hazira region
are briefly discussed here.

1.2 Objectives

» Evaluation of pollution monitoring networks employed in ambient air

quality impact assessment studies
A Effect monitoring and studies on occurrence of "actual" impacts in
comparison to predicted impacts on major components of environment
i.e. air, noise and water
A Predictive techniques evaluation and calibration and validation of
mathematical models used for prediction of impacts on air quality in
Environmental Impact Assessment studies
Implementation of Environmental management Plan formulated on the
basis of studies
A Evaluation of the adequacy / performance / efficiency of Environmental
management plan technologies provided as per the recommendations

1.3 Methodology for Calibration and Validation of Air Quality Models

» Identification and quantification of existing point, area and line sources

in the impact zone through stack monitoring, area source emission
estimation studies and estimation of vehicular emissions
A Monitoring of micro-meteorological parameters viz.; wind speed, wind
direction, temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, cloud cover,
stability class and other parameters
A Determination of mixing height and vertical wind profile using balloon

Monitoring of air quality at selected sampling stations identified based

on micro-meteorological scenario and earlier EIA studies
A Calibration of air quality model for existing sources using monitored
meteorological parameters and determination of deviation between
predicted and observed ground level concentrations of different
1.4 Emission Inventory

Based on the stack monitoring studies conducted it was observed that the
contribution of stack emissions is relatively low in comparison to other sources of
pollution in the region i.e. area and line sources of pollution. The above
observation is valid when one considers the fact that natural gas is the major raw
material and fuel used in almost all the industries. In addition, stringent pollution
control measures have been implemented by all the major industries in the region
to comply with the statutory regulations in force.

Point, Area and Line sources of air pollution in the study region were
estimated to quantify the contribution of these sources to the air pollution in the
region. For this purpose the whole study area has been divided into number of
grids of size 2 km x 2 km and villages located in each grid have been identified
and population residing in each village has been estimated with the help of
census records and surveys conducted for collection of data relating to socio-
economic environment. Urban areas and rural areas in the region have also been
demarcated and fuel use surveys have been conducted in some of the
representative villages. The above data on population residing in each village
grid, their fuel consumption pattern and related emission factors have been used
to quantify the emissions from each grid due to area sources. For modeling
purpose, it was assumed that all the emissions from each grid occur at the centre
of the grid.

To quantify the contribution from vehicular sources of pollution, vehicular

counts of different types of vehicles paying on major (inter city and intra city) i.e.
State Highways and District roads have been conducted in the study region and
related emission factors have been used for estimating the emissions from these
sources of pollution. Detailed data collected during studies conducted by
agencies like Central Road Research Institute in the study region with respect to
the above have also been extensively used for this purpose.

Emission estimates with respect to point, area and line sources of pollution
with respect to major pollutants in the region i.e. SPM and NOx with considered
during the modelling exercise. It was observed that line sources relatively
contribute more pollution in comparison to other sources of pollution in the region.

1.5 Predictions

Ground Level Concentrations at both upwind and downwind receptors

were predicted making use of air quality models for each eight hourly shift (02 -
10, 10-18, 18-02 Hrs) by making use of the corresponding hourly meteorological
data recorded on each day of monitoring. However, it was observed that S 0 2
concentrations recorded are relatively very less since natural gas is the feedstock
in most of the industries located in the region. Same is the case with SPM since
natural gas is the feedstock but SPM is also contributed by local construction and
transportation activities. Intensity of vehicular traffic is very high in the area as
observed during the studies. The traffic emissions in addition to high temperature
combustion operations carried out in industries located in the region contribute
NOx and it is felt that NOx concentrations will serve as good indicator for
comparison purpose. Better correlation between observed and predicted
concentrations of NOx was observed particularly during the morning shift (02-10
Hrs) due to vehicular traffic and early morning inversion / stable conditions. The
predicted GLCs and the observed concentrations with respect to major pollutants
in the region i.e. NOx and SPM for 02-10 Hrs shift (representing stable
conditions) and 10-18 Hrs shift (representing unstable conditions) were analysed.

There are two generally accepted methods of comparison of observed and

predicted values i.e. (i) Paired comparison and (ii) unpaired comparison. Under
Paired comparison technique one to one correspondence between observed and
predicted values at each monitoring station (both upwind and downwind) is
studied to establish relationship between the two an assess the impact of
industrial operations in the region. However, due to the complexities involved in
perfectly simulating meteorological phenomena particularly with respect to wind
speed and direction in the model it is very difficult to establish correlation and one
to one correspondence in majority of cases. This problem will also be aggravated
by the difficulty in making exact emission inventory particularly while estimating
emissions from area and line sources of pollution by making use of average
emission factors. It is also known that Gaussion model poorly complies with

observed values over short time periods and complex terrains and the agreement
between the observed and predicted values improves with longer time periods for
simple flat terrains. For the above reasons, it was observed that it is difficult to
establish the effect of industrial operations in the region solely by considering the
concentrations recorded at upwind and downwind air quality monitoring stations.
Moreover change in sea breeze and land breeze directions daily also influence
upwind and downwind direction. In view of the above, unpaired comparison was
also made to facilitate comparative performance evaluation of models used in the
study with respect to the most significant parameter i.e. NOx indicates that PAL
model which takes into account point, area and line sources of pollution predicts
NOx concentrations relatively close to the observed values.

Since PAL model gave comparatively better results in terms of predicted

Ground Level Concentrations which are relatively closer to observed values, it
was decided to make another comparative study for studying the variation in the
predicted Ground Level Concentration under three meteorological conditions by
varying the stability class.

Scenario I One step high stability class (towards unstable conditions) in

comparison to computed stability class as per Turner's
Scenario II Stability class computed as per Turner's Method
Scenario III One step below stability class (towards stable conditions) in
comparison to computed stability class as per Turner's

The above scenarios have been generated since stability class

significantly influences the Ground Level concentration and different methods are
available for the computation of stability class. Each method of computation of
stability class may give slightly different category of stability class even under a
given set of meteorological conditions. The Ground Level concentrations under
Scenario I, Scenario II, Scenario III using PAL model were predicted and the
predicted results were analysed.