Assessment of hydrogen sulfide emission from a sewage treatment plant using AERMOD

Mahad Baawain*, Abdullah Al-Mamun, Hamid Omidvarborna, Abdullah Al-Jabri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Air quality modeling plays an important role in prediction of air pollutants in urban areas. Moreover, it is also an essential component to make crucial decisions in environmental management. In this study, environmental protection agency (EPA) regulatory model (AERMOD) was implemented in order to assess the urban air quality in the city of Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Dispersion modeling was employed for the prediction of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions, a neighborhood claimed issue, from Al-Ansab sewage treatment plant (STP). Meteorological, elevation data, and H2S survey results were implemented into the model. From the site survey study, four different H2S emission sources were identified as sewage tanker connection points, biofilter, old odor control unit (OCU), and open channels of raw sewage. It was observed that based on maximum 24-h analysis, the ground level concentration outside the STP exceeded the concentration limit, 40 μg/m3, recommended by the local regulating agency in Oman. By applying a sensitivity analysis study, the locations with the highest predicted H2S levels were identified. The most affected area in the worst-case scenario was the nearby expressway with 450.9 μg/m3 of H2S. The highest ground level concentration of H2S was detected in March, while the lowest was measured in December. The model also predicted that the impact of odor nuisance is greater at the summer season than that of other seasons due to the elevated temperatures. The study revealed an adverse environmental impact from the STPs on urban air quality, which may pose a threat to the public health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number263
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Air dispersion modeling
  • Air quality
  • Hydrogen sulfide (HS)
  • Sewage treatment plant (STP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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