Comparison of AERMOD and CALPUFF models for simulating SO2 concentrations in a gas refinery

  • Farideh Atabi
  • Farzaneh Jafarigol
  • Faramarz Moattar
  • Jafar Nouri


In this study, concentration of SO2 from a gas refinery located in complex terrain was calculated by the steady-state, AERMOD model, and nonsteady-state CALPUFF model. First, in four seasons, SO2 concentrations emitted from 16 refinery stacks, in nine receptors, were obtained by field measurements, and then the performance of both models was evaluated. Then, the simulated results for SO2 ambient concentrations made by each model were compared with the results of the observed concentrations, and model results were compared among themselves. The evaluation of the two models to simulate SO2 concentrations was based on the statistical analysis and Q-Q plots. Review of statistical parameters and Q-Q plots has shown that, according to the evaluation of estimations made, performance of both models to simulate the concentration of SO2 in the region can be considered acceptable. The results showed the AERMOD composite ratio between simulated values made by models and the observed values in various receptors for all four average times is 0.72, whereas CALPUFF’s ratio is 0.89. However, in the complex conditions of topography, CALPUFF offers better agreement with the observed concentrations.


SO2 concentration AERMOD CALPUFF Dispersion models Gas refinery 



This paper uses computations which were performed with the financial support from the South Pars Gas Complex (SPGC). The authors wish to thank the expert’s team for their assistance in the preparation of the emission data.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Environment and Energy, Science and Research BranchIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Management, Graduate School of Environment and Energy, Science and Research BranchIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIran

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