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Air Pollution Transport Teaching Modules

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.72.1 - 3.72.12



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Paper Authors

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K. Y. Maillacheruvu

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D. Roy

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Aaron A. Jennings

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3251

Air Pollution Transport Teaching Modules 3 D. Roy’, A. A. Jennings and K. Y. Maillacheruvu 1 Professor of Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic University, New York 2 Prof. of Environ. Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. 3 Asst. Prof. of Environmental Engineering, Bradley University, Preoria, IL


Understanding and predicting the impact of air emissions form various sources are essential components of a typical course on Air Pollution in an engineering curriculum. Air pollution teaching modules were developed to aid instructors and students with the basic ability to model convective-dispersive transport of air pollutants emitted from point and distributed sources. The modules rely on basic “Gaussian Models” and use site specific input parameters on topography and meteorological conditions such as wind speed and direction, atmospheric stability, ambient temperature, and stack-gas properties.

Modules provide instructions to set up and/or download the necessary software for classroom teaching activity and then demonstrate the application using typical case studies at basic and advanced levels. Basic level case studies include examples on predicting, (a) the concentration profile of contaminants along the center line of the plume, (b) maximum ground level contaminant concentration and establishing the location of critical impact zones, (c) iso-concentration profiles at the ground level and at a plane orthogonal to the prevailing wind direction. At the advanced level, modules present complex problems of analyzing reactive contaminants and area emissions of volatile organic carbon from a municipal sewage treatment plant.

The modules rely on commercial software such as AIRSCAPE, SURFER, MATHCAD and public domain software like SCREEN3, that may be downloaded from the USEPA website. The modules were tested in selected undergraduate classes of the GATEWAY consortium schools for user friendliness and feedback from students were incorporated in the modules to improve their quality. In their current form these modules are ready for adoption into undergraduate engineering curricula and could very easily be extended to higher lever graduate courses on air pollution.

INTRODUCTION Air pollution teaching modules suitable for undergraduate engineering education were developed at Polytechnic (Poly) and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) under the sponsorship of NSF Gateway coalition. These modules utilize the textbook “Gaussian Model” for transport and dispersion of air contaminants released from point sources (Wark et al, 1998). A very brief description of the basic “Gaussian Model” which is included in typical air pollution courses is outlined below. The general equation to calculate the steady state concentration of an air contaminant in the ambient air resulting from a point source is given by:

-3 c(x,y,z) = contaminant concentration at the specified coordinate [ML ], x = downwind distance [L], y = crosswind distance [L], z = vertical distance above ground [L],

Maillacheruvu, K. Y., & Roy, D., & Jennings, A. A. (1998, June), Air Pollution Transport Teaching Modules Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--6912

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