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Estimating Air Emissions from an Industrial Cooling Water Reservoir after an Accidental Material Release

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A cracked heat exchanger resulted in an accidental release of chemical intermediates to the cooling water reservoir at a petrochemical manufacturing site. Dynamic modeling using GPS-X software was employed to estimate emission rates of four organic compounds discharged to the cooling water reservoirs for reporting to the State regulatory agency. The contaminated cooling water pumping rate was 850 gpm, resulting in total mass inputs to the reservoirs of 83 to 1300 lb for diisopropyl ketone and isobutyl isobutyrate, repectively. Over a period of 6 days from the start of the organics release, approximately 13 to 14% of the input mass of each organic compound was volatilized as air emissions. Estimated emission rates varied from a low of 11 lb for diisopropyl ketone to 169 lb for isobutyl isobutyrate. Sensitivity testing of the effects of wind speed and reservoir water temperature on volatilization rates of the organics indicated that wind speed would have a much greater effect on emission rates than would water temperature over the ranges investigated.

Keywords: Air emissions; industrial; model; release; spill; wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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