Author: Elaine Vizka

Predicted Impacts of Heavy Metals in Soils Downwind of the City of Ames Power Plant (2017 Soil Health Conference)

The City of Ames Power Plant opened in 1901 as a coal-fired plant, converted to coal-fuel and refuse derived fuel (RDF) in 1975, and then to exclusively RDF in 2016. Fly ash that escapes the plant’s air pollution removal system contains heavy metals originally present in the fossil fuels, and are transported from the smoke stack and deposited onto surrounding areas. This project used hourly weather data and annual emissions estimates from the City of Ames Power Plant in a Gaussian Dispersion model within MATLAB, to predict the location of soils with highest expected deposition of nickel, lead, and mercury from the plant between 2004 and 2015.