Estimation of power plant SO2 emissions using the HYSPLIT dispersion model and airborne observations with plume rise ensemble runs
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Estimation of power plant SO2 emissions using the HYSPLIT dispersion model and airborne observations with plume rise ensemble runs

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  • Journal Title:
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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    The SO2 emission rates from three power plants in North Carolina are estimated using the HYSPLIT Lagrangian dispersion model and aircraft measurements made on 26 March 2019. To quantify the underlying modeling uncertainties in the plume rise calculation, dispersion simulations are carried out in an ensemble using a total of 15 heat release parameters. For each heat release, the SO2 emission rates are estimated using a transfer coefficient matrix (TCM) approach and compared with the Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) data. An “optimal” member is first selected based on the correlation coefficient calculated for each of the six segments that delineate the plumes from the three power plants during the morning and afternoon flights. The segment influenced by the afternoon operations of Belews Creek power plant has negative correlation coefficients for all the plume rise options and is first excluded from the emission estimate here. Overestimations are found for all the segments before considering the background SO2 mixing ratios. Both constant background mixing ratios and several segment-specific background values are tested in the HYSPLIT inverse modeling. The estimation results by assuming the 25th percentile observed SO2 mixing ratios inside each of the five segments agree well with the CEMS data, with relative errors of 18 %, −12 %, 3 %, 93.5 %, and −4 %. After emission estimations are performed for all the plume rise runs, the lowest root mean square errors (RMSEs) between the predicted and observed mixing ratios are calculated to select a different set of optimal plume rise runs which have the lowest RMSEs. Identical plume rise runs are chosen as the optimal members for Roxboro and Belews Creek morning segments, but different members for the other segments yield smaller RMSEs than the previous correlation-based optimal members. It is also no longer necessary to exclude the Belews Creek afternoon segment that has a negative correlation between predictions and observations. The RMSE-based optimal runs result in much better agreement with the CEMS data for the previously severely overestimated segment and do not deteriorate much for the other segments, with relative errors of 18 %, −18 %, 3 %, −9 %, and 27 % for the five segments and 2 % for the Belews Creek afternoon segment. In addition, the RMSE-based optimal heat emissions appear to be more reasonable than the correlation-based values when they are significantly different for CPI Roxboro power plant.
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    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 23(19), 12907-12933
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    CC BY
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