Assessment and control of VOCs emitted from gas stations in Tehran, Iran

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of the Environment and Energy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hesarak, P.O. Box 14515-775, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of the Public Health, Tehran Branch of Medical Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability, NIReS, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK



In this research, gasoline vapours including Benzene, Toluene, Xylene (BTX) and Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs) emitted from vent pipes of underground storage tanks (USTs) were measured at six gas stations in Tehran. Thereafter, gas station No. 29 was selected as a pilot station and equipped with a vapour control system. The vapours were measured during the summer of 2013 and winter of 2014 in two states, before and at the time of gasoline discharge from a petrol tanker to the UST. The results reveal that the average of BTX and TVOCs are 161.22, 200.81, 229 and 647.01 ppm, respectively, higher than the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. The average of TVOCs and BTX in the situation in which the control system is inactive at the pilot station, are 259.13, 55.9, 73.03 and 96.88 ppm, respectively. After activating the control system at the pilot station, the VOCs were reduced by 0.01 ppm. Almost 99.99% control was obtained for this system and 87% of the people living around the pilot station were satisfied and no longer had any complaints about the bad odour of VOCs. It can be concluded that gasoline discharge from the petrol tanker to UST, is the main reason behind the overproduction of VOCs in Tehran's gas stations (P<0.001). So, the most important element is to reduce VOCs at Tehran's gas stations by installing a vapour control systems in all the stations and activating the systems at the time of gasoline discharge.


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