Ecology

The burning of carbonaceous fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and fuel oil cause thermal and chemical reactions resulting in air pollution. The principal air pollutants are the following:

  • - carbon monoxide (СО), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur oxides, SO2 and SO3 (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx);
  • - particulate matter (soot and ash particles), oxides of metals such as mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), et al.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which accelerates the global warming. Data on emission rates and specific air pollutant emissions produced by burning 1 ton of coal is taken from the book "Air Pollutant Emissions from Power Plants: Methods of Determination” (Кiev: KVITs Publ., 2002). Table 1 and Table 2 present emissions data per 100 tons of coal – the average amount of coal required for a heating season for a secondary school or kindergarten with an area of up to 1200 sq.m located in the south of Odessa region.

Table 1. Emission Rates and Specific Emissions of Air Pollutants from Coal-Fired Power Plants:

Table 1

Air Pollutants

NOx

SO2

CO

CO2

N2O

CH4

Particulate matter

Emission rate, g/GJ

193

2784,5

121

93409

1,4

1,0

10032,8

Emissions per 1 ton of burnt coal, kg/t

3,95

56,99

2,47

191,2

0,028

0,020

205,37

Emissions (kg) per 100 tons of burnt coal per heating season

3950

5699

2470

191200

2,8

2,0

205370

Thus, for example, a coal-fired power plant in a kindergarten in Artsiz, Odessa region, emits over 17.5 tons of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, 5.1 tons of sulfur oxides, 13.65 grams of heavy metals including 1.8 grams of mercury each heating season.

Table 2

Air Pollutants Heavy metals
HqAsPCrNiCuZn
Emission rate, g/GJ 0,9940,9950,6492,181,201,341,85

Table 3 presents emissions resulting from combustion of 23.4 tons of reference fuel by natural gas boiler plants, which corresponds to 20,000 m3 of natural gas consumed during the heating season in the southern areas of Odessa region for heating schools, kindergartens, and municipal hospitals with up to 1000 sq.m floor area.

Table 3. Emission Rates and Specific Emissions of Air Pollutants from Gas-Fired Power Plants

Table 3

Air Pollutants

NOx

Нd

CO

CO2

N2O

CH4

Emission rate, g/GJ

193

0,001

17

58716

0,1

1,0

Emissions per 1 ton of burnt reference fuel, kg / t

3,95

0,08

0,562

194,3

0,001

0,033

Emissions per heating season (23,4 t), kg

90

1,87

13,2

4547

0.02

0,8

The table shows that the burning of natural gas by gas fired boilers has high emission levels. For example, natural gas boilers located in the Maternity Hospital district in the town of Bolgrad, Odessa region, emit over 4.6 tons of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide during the heating season.