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Potentials of whole process control of heavy metals emissions from coal-fired power plants in China

Zhu, Chuanyong, Tian, Hezhong, Cheng, Ke, Liu, Kaiyun, Wang, Kun, Hua, Shenbing, Gao, Jiajia, Zhou, Junrui
Journal of cleaner production 2016 v.114 pp. 343-351
accidents, air pollution, burning, cleaning, coal, combustion, control methods, emissions, energy, energy conservation, filters, flue gas desulfurization, heavy metals, issues and policy, mercury, poisoning, pollution control, power plants, process control, toxicity, washing, China
Recently, more and more poisoning accidents associated with toxic heavy metals have been reported throughout China, coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) sector is regarded as one of the most important source categories of anthropogenic atmospheric releases of heavy metals due to tremendous annual coal consumption (about 1785.3 Mt in 2012). In this paper, with the concept of whole process control, the co-benefit or synergistic removal efficiencies of different control measures used in CFPPs of China are evaluated, the combination of coal washing before burning plus post combustion cleaning of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) + electrostatic precipitator/fabric filters (ESP/FFs) + wet flue gas desulfurization (WFGD) configuration is identified to be the best available control technology for heavy metals abatement of CFPPs at present and in the near future. However, the widely application of special mercury control (SMC) technologies in Chinese CFPPs in future is greatly needed. Furthermore, three energy scenarios and three control scenarios were assumed to forecast the future trend of heavy metals emissions. Under the same control scenario, the change of the energy saving and energy structure will give rise to about 24.1% and 24.6% of abatement potential for heavy metals in 2020 and 2030, respectively. Whereas, under the current energy consumption pattern and air pollution control policies, the installation of SCR + SMC + ESP/FFs + WFGD will result in about 21.0–44.1% and 36.3–67.5% of reduction for heavy metals emissions in 2020 and 2030, respectively. Finally, integrated control suggestions are proposed to minimize the final toxic heavy metals discharges.