title = "Experimental measurement of cooling tower emissions using image processing of sensitive papers",
journal = "Atmospheric Environment",
volume = "69",
pages = "170 - 181",
year = "2013",
issn = "1352-2310",
doi = "https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.12.014",
url = "http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231012011648",
author = "J. Ruiz and A.S. Kaiser and M. Ballesta and A. Gil and M. Lucas",
keywords = "Cooling tower emissions, Sensitive paper, Canny edge detector, Log-normal distribution function",
abstract = "Cooling tower emissions are harmful for several reasons such as air polluting, wetting, icing and solid particle deposition, but mainly due to human health hazards (i.e. Legionella). There are several methods for measuring drift drops. This paper is focussed on the sensitive paper technique, which is suitable in low drift scenarios and real conditions. The lack of an automatic classification method motivated the development of a digital image process algorithm for the Sensitive Paper method. This paper presents a detailed description of this method, in which, drop-like elements are identified by means of the Canny edge detector combined with some morphological operations. Afterwards, the application of a J48 decision tree is proposed as one of the most relevant contributions. This classification method allows us to discern between stains whose origin is a drop and stains whose origin is not a drop. The method is applied to a real case and results are presented in terms of drift and PM10 emissions. This involves the calculation of the main features of the droplet distribution at the cooling tower exit surface in terms of drop size distribution data, cumulative mass distribution curve and characteristic drop diameters. The Log-normal and the Rosin–Rammler distribution functions have been fitted to the experimental data collected in the tests and it can been concluded that the first one is the most suitable for experimental data among the functions tested (whereas the second one is less suitable). Realistic PM10 calculations include the measurement of drift emissions and Total Dissolved Solids as well as the size and number of drops. Results are compared to the method proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assessing its overestimation. Drift emissions have found to be 0.0517% of the recirculating water, which is over the Spanish standards limit (0.05%)."