Atmospheric dispersion modelling is a mathematical simulation of how air pollutants disperse in the atmosphere. These pollutants are most often dispersed in the form of gases (e.g., formaldehyde, nitrogen oxides, etc.), in the form of solids (e.g., dusts, metals and semi-metals) or in the form of odours.
These atmospheric pollutants can be released through many different sources: chimneys, exhaust vents, liquid or solid surfaces, access roads (paved or not), stockpiles, etc.
In general, modelling is used to verify compliance of an industrial facility with current applicable air quality regulations. These regulations often propose maximum pollutant concentrations that must be respected at ground level outside the emitting plant property. Exceeding maximum ground level concentrations can be considered a violation of air quality or environmental regulations. Atmospheric dispersion modelling is therefore the ideal tool to determine the impact a plant will have on air quality and its ability to comply with air quality laws and regulations in the event it exceeds standards.
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