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« Large Scale Social Disruption | Main | In Rhode Island and Chicago »

March 13, 2007


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China Law Blog

China's pollution is a complete mess and I do not see it getting better until it gets a lot worse. Right now, some of the wealthier cities are starting to care, but this just means it gets past off onto the vast hinterland.


Plan to shutdown dirtiest small plants in China.

Both the USA, China and other coal using countries should aggessively adopt new technology to retrofit old coal plants to control Particulate matters (10 micron and 2.5 micron). No plants should be grandfathered to allow them to be worse polluters.

These best devices and practices should be rolled out to clean up coal plants over 100 times for particulates and a lot for the other pollutants. To improve the capabilities of power plants to capture primary particulates, the Energy Department's Fossil Energy program assisted in the development of devices that combine the best features of both a baghouse and an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) in the same compact enclosure. This device removes at least 99.99% of the solid particles in the flue gas of coal-fired power plants. Other projects developed improvements to the efficiency of existing electrostatic precipitators by installing a device that concentrates particles escaping the ESP and recycling them back to the ESP inlet. Another project developed low-cost, non-toxic conditioning agents that are injected in flue gases before they enter the ESP to make the tiny particles more susceptible to capture.

Here is some other info that shows the problems are well understood and that some action is being taken.



Sulfur Removal during Coal Combustion
Sulfur can be removed during coal combustion (in situ sulfur removal) in industrial and utility boilers by using sorbent-injection techniques or fluidized bed combustion (FBC) technology. The former usually involves injecting dry sorbent (either calcium-based or sodium-based) into the furnace of a boiler. The latter involves firing a suspended fine mixture of coal and sorbent (such as lime). Even though the basic sorbent-injection technique is easy to set up and operate and relatively inexpensive, it is rarely used in China, in part because of a lack of experience with the technology. Non-pressurized FBC boilers are beginning to penetrate the market, especially in the large boiler segment (i.e., 70-ton steam per hour or larger), as domestic manufacturers master the technology.

Flue Gas Desulfurization
Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) is most cost effective in coal-fired power plants. The most widely used FGD technology, wet scrubbers, uses gas/liquid reactions to remove sulfur from flue gas. A cheaper alternative, spray dry scrubbers, is usually used for small utility boilers or older plants. Both technologies have been demonstrated in China and, based on the large proposed investments in the Tenth Five-Year Plan, both appear to be in demand. So far, because of high costs and rigid utility pricing regulations, only a few facilities are operating with FGD technology.


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