The Environmental impacts of coal fired power stations
The Environmental impacts of coal fired power stations can be split into 3.
Local effects are due to particulate emissions
These are controlled using filters and electrostatic precipitators to remove the particles from the stack gases. The particles are then either placed into land fill or used for building material. In the US there isalso concern over the increase in water temperatures from once through cooling.
The key regional effects are due to SOx and NOx. SO2 causes acid rain that has led to considerable environmental damage while the production of NOx has significant health consequences. SO2 emissions are reduced by burning low sulphur coal or byfitting Flue Gas Desulpurisation equipment. The EU Large Conbustion Plant Directive effectively bans the use of coal other than in plants with FGD.
The Global effect is the creation of Green House Gases (particularly CO2) that lead to global warming. Burning of any fossil fuel leads to the emissions of CO2 but particularly coal because of its high Carbon content.