Determination of Sulfur Dioxide Dispersion in the Atmosphere from Petroleum Production Unit No. 9 and Its Proximity to Masjid-I-Suleiman
Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology,
Masjid-I-Suleiman became the first petroleum city in Iran and the Middle East and the petroleum production unit located nearby, due to its aging installation and technology for petroleum and natural gas exploration has now become the largest SO2 polluter among the petroleum producing regions in southern provinces. Petroleum production unit No. 9, located in the residential area of Masjid-I Suleiman, separates gases which are dissolved in petroleum. Every day about seven million cubic feet of gas are burnt in the flares. The amount of sulfur compounds in this gas is about 7 percent by volume, which after burning are released as SO2 in the air. This research was conducted to determine the amount of dispersion of SO2 in the atmosphere in proximity to Masjid-I Suleiman. In the present study lead peroxide absorbent plates were used to absorb SO2 from air for six months. The amount of SO2 was measured using a standard laboratory procedure and expressed in units of µg SO2 cm-2 day-1. The minimum and the maximum of SO2 adsorption on absorbent plates in six month sampling (summer and autumn) was equal to 0.32and 30.08 µg SO2 cm-2day-1 respectively. The average amount for the whole period was 8.74 µg SO2 cm-2day-1. Results of this study were compared with ISO-9223 standard, the Poland research institute, and some other petroleum production units. The amount of sulfur dioxide pollution is at a high level in the areas studied. Moreover, the influence of meteorological factors such as temperature, relative humidity and wind speed on the dispersion of SO2 was investigated. The results of this investigation demonstrate an inverse relationship of SO2 concentration with relative humidity, and a direct relationship with the temperature and wind speed.