Effluent Gases from Coal Combustion - Effect on Environment
10 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2000
Burning coal injects mainly CO2, NOx, SO2, CO and CH4 into the atmosphere and depletes atmospheric O2. These effluent gases interact with other atmospheric gases as well as with each other. There is the possibility that the global average air temperature may be increasing due to these chemical changes which in turn may cause a greater variability in precipitation. Soil and plants absorb a portion of these gases and the remainder can cause a variety of harmful effects to normal ecosystems and agriculture as well as, in some cases, to human health. The absorption of inorganic air pollutants by soils is primarily by chemical and physical means. Absorption of SO2 by soil increases the acidity of the soil surface layers. Elevated levels of CO2 increase plant's photosynthetic rates leaf area, biomass and yield. On the other hand it reduces the transpiration rate per unit leaf area. Plants absorb significant amounts of NOx gases and they contaminate air and remove all the nitrogenous components. Information on the interaction of these gases is not readily available. A better understanding of the chemistry and toxicity of these gases could increase the political consciousness that will accelerate the process of mitigation.
JEL Classification: I1, Q0, Q1, Q4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation