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Modeling the spill in the Songhua River after the explosion in the petrochemical plant in Jilin

Research paper by Wenjing Fu, Huijin Fu, Karen Skøtt, Min Yang

Indexed on: 01 May '08Published on: 01 May '08Published in: Environmental Science and Pollution Research



Abstract

An explosion in a petrochemical plant in Jilin in the northeast of China on 13 November 2005 was responsible for the discharge of large quantities of benzene and nitrobenzene into Songhua River. This endangered the water supply of Harbin city and influenced the daily life for millions of people. The dispersion-advection equation was solved analytically and numerically and used to simulate the concentration of benzene and nitrobenzene in the Songhua River after the accident. Both solutions gave practically identical results. The main elimination process for both compounds was volatilization. The model results are quite close to the results obtained by measurements at monitoring stations. Arrival time of the pollutant wave, peak concentrations and end of the pollutant wave at Harbin and along the river were predicted successfully. The peak concentrations of nitrobenzene at Harbin were more than 30 times above the permissible limits for drinking water.