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Title: Power plant fuel switching and air quality in a tropical, forested environment

How a changing energy matrix for electricity production affects air quality is considered for an urban region in a tropical, forested environment. Manaus, the largest city in the central Amazon Basin of Brazil, is in the process of changing its energy matrix for electricity production from fuel oil and diesel to natural gas over an approximately 10-year period, with a minor contribution by hydropower. Three scenarios of urban air quality, specifically afternoon ozone concentrations, were simulated using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-Chem) model. The first scenario used fuel oil and diesel for electricity production, which was the reality in 2008. The second scenario was based on the fuel mix from 2014, the most current year for which data were available. The third scenario considered nearly complete use of natural gas for electricity production, which is the anticipated future, possibly for 2018. For each case, inventories of anthropogenic emissions were based on electricity generation, refinery operations, and transportation. Transportation and refinery operations were held constant across the three scenarios to focus on effects of power plant fuel switching in a tropical context. The simulated NO x and CO emissions for the urban region decrease by 89 and 55 %, respectively,more » after the complete change in the energy matrix. The results of the simulations indicate that a change to natural gas significantly decreases maximum afternoon ozone concentrations over the population center, reducing ozone by >70 % for the most polluted days. The sensitivity of ozone concentrations to the fuel switchover is consistent with a NO x-limited regime, as expected for a tropical forest having high emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds, high water vapor concentrations, and abundant solar radiation. There are key differences in a shifting energy matrix in a tropical, forested environment compared to other world environments. Therefore, policies favoring the burning of natural gas in place of fuel oil and diesel have great potential for ozone reduction and improved air quality for growing urban regions located in tropical, forested environments around the world.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [4]
  1. Amazonas State Univ. (UEA), Manaus (Brazil). Post-graduate Program in Climate and Environment (CLIAMB) and National Inst. of Amazonian Research (INPA) and Center of Superior Studies of Tefe
  2. Amazonas State Univ. (UEA), Manaus (Brazil). Post-graduate Program in Climate and Environment (CLIAMB) and National Inst. of Amazonian Research (INPA)
  3. Technological Univ. of Parana, Parana (Brazil). Post-graduate Program in Environmental Engineering
  4. Amazonas State Univ. (UEA), Manaus (Brazil). Superior School of Technology
  5. Technological Univ. of Parana, Parana (Brazil). Dept. of Physics
  6. Technological Univ. of Parana, Parana (Brazil). Dept. of Chemistry
  7. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
sc0011115; 001030/2012-4; 400063/2014-0; 062.00568/2014
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online); Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 1680-7324
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Research Org:
Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23). Climate and Environmental Sciences Division; Large-Scale Biosphere–Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA); National Inst. of Amazonian Research (INPA); Amazonas State Univ. (UEA); Financier of Studies and Projects (FINEP); Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES); National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
OSTI Identifier:
1425372