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GIS aided prediction of CO₂ emission dispersion from geothermal electricity production

Yousefi-Sahzabi, Amin, Sasaki, Kyuro, Yousefi, Hossein, Pirasteh, Saied, Sugai, Yuichi
Journal of cleaner production 2011 v.19 no.17-18 pp. 1982-1993
carbon dioxide, electricity, emissions, field experimentation, geographic information systems, geothermal energy, models, pollutants, power plants, prediction, steam, surface roughness, topography, wind direction, wind speed
CO₂ is the dominant constituent of non-condensable gases in the steam phase of most geothermal fluids. This paper attempts to present the results of a study conducted to develop prediction modeling of CO₂ dispersion in the surrounding atmosphere from a planned 50 MWe geothermal power plant prior to its production. Dispersion models are widely used for predicting future concentrations of environmental emissions on a range of geographic scales. The dispersion type for gases and their average removal rate depends on the meteorological conditions such as wind direction, wind speed, precipitation, atmospheric stability, and surface roughness and topography. Geographic Information System (GIS) capabilities were used for quality visualization of the model outputs and presenting an accurate numerical copy of the study area. The results by the prediction model show that the natural transfer of CO₂ will be from the power plant toward east and northeast and CO₂ concentration trends after the power plant utilization will be similar to the background conditions with minor changes. This dispersion test was carried out to validate and field test the GIS aided dispersion modeling approach described in the paper and the procedure may be applicable for other studies assessing the emission dispersion of pollutants from a point source.