Air Pollution Assessment of a Gas Flare Site in the Niger Delta Region
Journal of Engineering Research and Reports
Aim: The aim of this research was to investigate the level of air pollutants generated from a gas flaring plant in Ogbogu and Ebocha communities of Rivers State, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Study design: Seven monitoring stations were selected for Air quality monitoring, which involved measurement of basic air quality index and meteorological parameters using standard meteorological Equipment. Monitoring locations were selected with respect to the prevailing wind direction from the flare point. The
... following measurements were conducted; Gas emission: CO, SO2, NO2, VOC, CH4, H2S, NH3 Meteorological: Humidity, Wind Velocity, Wind direction, Atmospheric Pressure, Heat Radiation and Smoke density. Place and duration of study: This study was carried out in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State. This area was chosen for this study because of the high volume of petroleum activities. Oil and gas processing, production, transportation and utilization for power generation occur daily in the area resulting in numerous cases of environmental degradation and pollution. Methodology: A multigas Detector MSA Orion is used to monitor the different gases at 20m, 50m, 100m, 500m, and 700m. A Krestel Extech model 45112 mutli-parameter air quality equipment is used to determine the direction of wind flow and speed at a particular location. Results: The gases flared are in decreasing order of NOx,>SOx,>CO>VOC >SMP at increasing distance. This implies that the health of the people in the study area is affected negatively especially those living very close at 20- 100m distance to the flare site since the gases are occurring at levels higher towards the allowable limits of FEPA. The quantity of carbon emitted by these flares is about 2,525,000.00 tons of carbon per day. These values portray a bad omen for the affected communities. This study recommends that gas flaring should be seen as violent action against the people and that the flared gas should be channeled to meeting the ever increasing demand for energy in the industrial sector of the economy. Conclusion: It is safe to conclude that gas flaring not only produces excessive heat which alters the temperature of the environment, but also causes gaseous pollutants to be present in the environment and this may have adverse effects on the inhabitants and thus on the socio-economic activities of Ebocha community. The temperature of the environment returns to normal at about 450m away from the flare stack. Residential buildings should therefore be located and agricultural activities should be encouraged within this range of distance.