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Fume re-entry is an important concern for many types of facilities such as hospitals and laboratories that emit pathogens and toxic chemicals that may impact public health by being re-entrained into the building though nearby air intakes. Numerical methods can be used to evaluate dispersion of pollutants from stacks at sensitive receptors. However, numerical methods have limitations and simplifications that can significantly affect its predictions. An alternate way of analyzing stack re-entrainment is with physical modeling in a wind tunnel. In such a study, a scale model that accounts for buildings, topography, and vegetation is used with planned and alternate stack designs to determine the toxic emission impacts on air intakes and other sensitive locations. In a wind tunnel study different stack designs and possible mitigation options can be evaluated. This method is superior to numerical methods (e.g., dispersion models) because it accounts for the immediate structures, topography, and vegetation that is often ignored or oversimplified in numerical methods.
This presentation will show a hypothetical case study evaluating a site with toxic air emissions using AERMOD and physical modeling.