, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 51-68

Estimation of the commodity flow of chlorine from storage data

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Abstract

This paper proposes a mathematical model for estimating the road transport of industrial chlorine in the United States from the publicly available storage data. While the railroad industry provides government agencies in the US with data on rail transport of chlorine, such data for road transport are not reported. The decision whether to collect such data presents a conflict between public safety on one hand and increased regulatory burden on the other. Therefore, it is of interest to explore whether it is possible to provide estimates for the road transport using the existing data. We model the transportation of chlorine as a network flow problem. The formulation takes into consideration the entire supply chain, modeling both rail and road transport. Since transportation costs are not known, they are assumed to be random variables with a certain distribution. The road transport estimates are then obtained as a minimum-cost flow distribution induced by the distribution of the cost vector. The solution is visualized by combining the estimates with routing data to produce flow maps in a standard GIS markup language.

This paper is based upon work supported by the Chemical Security Analysis Center of the US Department of Homeland Security under grant number TCN 10-030.