A new tool to process forecast meteorological data for atmospheric pollution dispersion simulations of accident scenarios: A Sicily-based case study

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 9, Issue 3, 1080377
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d8.0377
Francesca Martorana , Mariarosa Giardina, Pietro Buffa, Marco Beccali, Calogero Zammuto
Department of Engineering (DE) University of Palermo (UNIPA), Palermo, Italy


Emergency response plans to mitigate the severity of the accidental release of hazardous compounds in the air have become a primary concern in view of the many adverse events occurred over the years in high-risk plants. To do this, an accurate estimate of forecast meteorological data to be used in dispersion models can be very useful to respond in advance to emergency situations. In this field, FORCALM is a new tool developed to elaborate European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts data on a 3D computational domain with a high-resolution grid. FORCALM data can be used to perform predictive simulations of impacts on local and regional levels by using CALPUFF modelling system. A case study relevant to an accident, occurred in the “Mediterranea” Refinery at Milazzo (Italy) in 2014, has been also examined for validation purposes. A comparison with results obtained by using CALMET modelling system and observed meteorological data, covering the area under study, is also described. The validation work has allowed confirming that predictive assessments, carried out with the help of FORCALM, lead to information regarding potential environmental impacts with a good degree of accuracy.

Keywords: Air pollution, Forecast meteorological data, Dispersion model, Risk analysis, High-risk plants.

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