Power plants are necessary to generate electric for the whole community. That electric powers businesses and homes for lights, heat, cooking, clothes dryers and more. However, while they are necessary they are also a problem with emissions.
The emissions are caused by the fossil fuels used to run the power plant. Those include coal, gas, and oil.
Three types of power plant
There are three types of power plants. They include:
- Thermal uses coal to run the machinery. The advantages are smaller footprint than hydro, initial upfront cost is less, and coal is cheaper than most fuels
- Nuclear uses radioactive elements like uranium and thorium as the primary fuel. It has some advantages like it requires a small amount of fuel, the smallest footprint of any power plant, economic for making bulk power, and more.
- Hydro-electric uses fallen or rapid moving water. The advantages to hydro are the fuel is water, and it’s free, construction of plant is cheap, helps with irrigation of crops, and less maintenance required.
These types of power plant provide the advantage of supplying large quantities of electric to businesses and homes. Nuclear power plants are not effected by adverse weather.
What is power plant emission and why is it bad?
Power plant emissions are a result of burning fossil fuels. The emissions are causing the greenhouse effect that causes global warming. What are the emissions? The emissions are:
The power plant that has the least emissions is geothermal. Geothermal plants use warm air that is in the earth’s inner layers.
Another problem, with coal burning plants is there is coal ash. Coal ash is the waste left over from burning the coal. That coal ash is toxic to humans. It contains several toxic substances; these include:
Long term exposure to this coal ash, can lead to liver damage, kidney damage, cardiac arrhythmia, and several different cancers.
Solutions to power plant emission
The several solutions to reduce power plant emissions. First is to switch to sustainable green energy where possible. Unfortunately, that is not possible in all cases.
The main solutions to reduce power plant emissions are:
- Selective Catalytic Reduction – this method involves using a compound that is added to the flue gas to change nitrogen oxides into water and nitrogen. When used with other technics such as removing the sulfur it can reduce emission of nitrogen oxides.
- Wet Scrubbers – uses a scrubbing agent, penetrable materials, and other filtrations they can help remove particles that end up in the ozone.
- Activated Carbon Injection – is one of the most common ways to capture flue gas emissions. This introduces powdered activated carbon to the flue gas. It acts as a filter, attracting pollutants like dioxin, furan or mercury. They are gathered by the same mechanism that accumulates flue ash.
- Electrostatic Precipitators –this method applies high voltage electric charge to the flue gas. The static electricity allows the charged particles to collect on a charged plate. After the venting is done, then, the particles can be removed from the plant.
What is the health issues related to power plant emission?
Power plant emissions can cause the following health issues:
Those are the main issues, but there are plenty of others. These issues can cause premature death. Someone who is 40 that lives in the vicinity of power plants can die due to one of the diseases that these emissions can cause.
It is vital that we all work together, businesses and residents, to help cut down these emissions. We will save our planet and be healthier for it.