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Applications of Wind Tunnel Modeling for Assessing Odor Impacts

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Wind tunnel modeling is a very useful tool to assess and mitigate odors from industrial, laboratory, sewage treatment, hospital, and landfill pollutant sources. As the EPA Fluid Modeling Guideline so aptly puts it: “A well-designed and carefully executed fluid modeling study will yield valid and useful information – information that can be applied to real environmental problems – with just as much and generally more credibility than any current mathematical models.” This paper discusses the validity of wind tunnel modeling and how these studies are conducted, and also presents three applications to assess and mitigate odor impacts. The first application deals with odorous engine exhaust from a natural gas pumping station. A resident was complaining of odors during certain operating and weather conditions. Wind tunnel modeling was conducted to provide the operator various alternatives to solve the problem. The alternatives ranged from taller stacks to installing induced air exhaust fans. The second application relates to the Puente Hills Landfill in Los Angeles. The primary purpose of this study was to determine how the changing landscape of the landfill (existing versus future contours) would affect levels of odors experienced by the nearby community. Wind tunnel testing confirmed that odors will decrease for the future configuration. The third application relates to odor impacts from laboratories and hospitals. Wind tunnel modeling was used to determine the optimum exhaust system such that odor impacts are minimized.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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