89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Thursday, 15 January 2009: 2:15 PM
VOCs in Alberta's Industrial Heartland
Room 127A (Phoenix Convention Center)
Rachel Mintz, EC, Edmonton, AB , Canada; and R. D. McWhinney, B. Chaitan, C. Englot, and R. D'amours
Poster PDF (964.7 kB)
From Sept, 2004 until March 31, 2006 the Fort Air Partnership and Environment Canada conducted a volatile organic compound (VOC) air monitoring program in a heavily industrialized region in Canada. The study area is near the city of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta and is often identified by the term the “Industrial Heartland”. There are currently a number of proposed oil sands upgraders in addition to the existing facilities and to those under construction. The announcements of the new upgrading facilities have resulted in the most recent term for the region being “Upgrader Alley”.

This presentation will describe the findings from the VOC study aimed at characterizing the ambient concentrations in the Fort Saskatchewan area. 150 VOCs were studied at six monitoring sites and a number of tools and techniques have been used to understand the VOCs from this study. From simple statistics and comparison to other cities in Canada to principal component analysis and Lagrangian-Stochastic modelling, the results from this study have been of interest to members of the public, the science community and policy makers. The VOC concentrations from this study provide a baseline for the area prior to the anticipated new industry developments. In addition, a unique feature to this study was the fact that the region was home to the only 1,2-dichloroethane emitting facility in Canada. 1,2-Dichloroethane exhibits fairly long atmospheric lifetimes, and for this study it serves as a surrogate chemical tracer. The results from the principal component analysis indicate that both vehicle and industry emissions have a strong influence on the variability of VOCs in the region. The Lagrangian-Stochastic modeling provides insight into fugitive emissions rates.

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