How can sulphur oxides emissions be reduced?
High-level dispersion has traditionally been employed to lower localised ground-level concentrations of sulphur oxides (SOx).
Despite the fact that these methods minimized localized health effects, it is now known that sulphur compounds move large distances in the upper atmosphere and can cause damage far from their source. As a result, the goal must be to minimize overall emissions.
The amount of harm caused by SOx emissions is essentially determined by ground-level ambient concentrations, the number of persons exposed, and the length of exposure. Because source location has an impact on these characteristics, plant placement is an important consideration in any SOx control strategy.
SO2 emissions are mostly found in the flue gas of fossil-fuel-based power plants!
With the building of large-scale power plants in India, the problem of high volumes of SO2 emitted from a single site has become a public concern. SO2 emissions pose a major threat to human health. Skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs are all irritated. Further issues, such as inflammation in the respiratory system, may arise as a result of the increased exposure. Inhaling SO2 is extremely hazardous and can potentially result in death.
The use of low-sulphur fuel, reduction or elimination of sulphur in the feed, suitable combustion methods, and emission control technologies such as sorbent injection and flue gas desulfurization are the main techniques to reducing SOx emissions (FGD).
Because sulphur emissions are proportional to the sulphur content of the fuel, using low-sulphur fuels like natural gas, low-sulphur oil, or low-sulphur coal is an efficient way to reduce SOx emissions. When burnt, natural gas has the extra benefit of producing no particulate matter.
Cleaning of the fuel
Beneficiation is the most important approach for lowering the sulphur level of gasoline. In high-sulphur coal, up to 70% of the sulphur is in the form of pyritic or mineral sulphate, which is not chemically bound to the coal. Beneficiation of coal may remove 50% of pyritic sulphur and 20–30% of total sulphur. (It's useless for eliminating organic sulphur.)
Beneficiation also eliminates the ash that causes particulate emissions. This method may be cost-effective in reducing sulphur oxide emissions in some situations, but it may result in huge amounts of solid waste and acid wastewaters that must be appropriately treated and disposed of.
Chemical desulfurization techniques can remove sulphur from oil, however this is not a commonly utilised commercial technology outside of the petroleum sector.
The two main approaches for reducing emissions-
Sorbent injection is the process of injecting an alkali chemical into coal combustion gases to react with sulphur dioxide. Lime and lime variations are common calcium sorbents. Compounds based on sodium are also utilized. Sulphur oxide emissions are reduced by 30–60% using sorbent injection methods.
Regenerative and throwaway flue gas desulfurization systems are the two most common types of FGD systems. Wet or dry procedures can be used in both ways. Currently, wet discard systems are used in more than 90% of utility FGD systems.
Because it does not lower overall SOx loads in the environment, the traditional approach of SOx dispersion through high stacks is not advised. In locations where natural gas is abundantly available and cost-effective, it is the favoured fuel. Fuel cleaning systems and combustion changes, for example, should be investigated as ways to reduce SOx emissions. The use of these approaches may eliminate the requirement for FGD systems. Dry SOx removal methods should be preferred over wet SOx removal systems wherever practical and monetarily viable.
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