fired power plants supply 50% of the nation’s electric energy but this plant
also produces air pollution. Coal plants produces about 87% of NOx pollution,
94% of SO2 and 98% of mercury pollution. Compared with others pollutants coal plants
are the largest source of sulfur dioxide, mercury, air toxic emissions and
second largest source of nitrogen oxide pollution. These pollutants emitted
from coal plants are combined to form secondary pollutants such as ozone and
particulate matter that are fatal to public health.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
In US, Coal plants are
biggest source of SO2 pollution, which is fatal to public health. It forms
small acidic particles by combining with air that is fatal for human lungs and
also soaks up by bloodstream. An uncontrolled Coal plants rejects about 14,100
tons of SO2/year and a controlled coal plants emit 3,300 tons of SO2/year.
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
NOx pollution may cause ozone or smog,
which causes eye, nose, throat and chronic respiratory diseases. An
uncontrolled coal plant emits 10,300 tons of NOx/year on the other hand a
controlled coal plant emits 3,300 tons of NOx/year.
causes eyes, lungs, and chronic respiratory type disease, and ultimately leads
to loss of human life. An uncontrolled coal plant emits 500 tons of small
airborne particles every year. Baghouse can capture 99% of the small
particulate matters. Coal plants are responsible for nearly 24,000 loss of
lives every year.
In US coal plants cause
more than half emission of Hg. It may cause brain damage, heart problems, and
attention disorders in children. An uncontrolled coal plant rejects about 170
lbs. of Hg every year. Activated carbon technology can minimize Hg emission up
to 90% when combined with baghouses. Just 1/70th of mercury deposited on 25 acre
area makes the fish unsuitable to eat.
Coal may have small
level of uranium, thorium and other naturally occurring radioactive isotopes
that may leads to radioactive pollution of environment. These may cause human
diseases and may effect to plants and crops. Emitted radiation by coal derived
fly ash delivers 100 times more to the environment than normal productive
nuclear plant. The 1000 Mega Watts coal power plant rejects nuclear radiation
dose of 490 person-rem/years, compared to 136 person-rem/years for other
nuclear power plant including uranium mining, reactor operation and waste
River Water Pollution
Coal power plant
produces ash containing calcium oxides. It dissolves in water forming slaked
lime and carried by acid rain to rivers. It removes bicarbonates hardness of
water but maximizes sodium ions that change the fertile land into alkaline soil.
Ozone pollution is formed when NOx
reacts with volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight. In US 1/3rd
of populations living in unsuitable ozone contents areas. Smog may cause health
problems like respiratory diseases, coughing and chest pain and ultimately
leads to loss of human life.
Coal-fired power plants
are significant source of CO2 emissions, producing approximately 40% of total
US carbon dioxide pollution. Carbon dioxide has no primary effect on human
health but it can harm global warming that can cause different diseases in
human. World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that approximately 150,000 loss
of lives occurred due to temperature change.