Authors: Iqbal Hossan, Venkata Sai Vamsi Botlaguduru, Hongbo Du, Raghava Rao Kommalapati, Ziaul Huque
The Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) area of Texas is a moderate nonattainment region for ozone, and has a history of severe summer ozone episodes. W. A. Parish power plant (WAP) located in the greater Houston area is the largest coal and natural gas based electricity generating unit (EGU) in Texas. Forest residue is an abundant renewable resource, and can be used to offset coal usage at EGUs. This study evaluates the impact of co-firing 5%, 10%, and 15% (energy-basis) of forest residue at WAP on the air quality of the HGB area. Photochemical modeling with Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx) was conducted to investigate the air quality at three air quality monitoring sites (C696, C53, C556) in the HGB area, under two source scenarios (all-sources, point + biogenic sources). Significant reduction of SO2 and O3 was observed for 10% and 15% co-firing ratios at monitoring station (C696) close to WAP. The maximum reduction of ozone observed for 15% co-firing is 4.7% and 6.3% for all-sources and point + biogenic sources scenarios respectively. The reduction in other criteria air pollutants is not significant at all locations. The overall results from this study indicate that biomass co-firing at WAP would not lead to a significant reduction in ozone concentrations in the region during periods of peak ozone.
See also: Comments to Paper