Emissions - what are they?
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EMISSIONS, WHAT ARE THEY?
Take a hydrocarbon fuel like gasoline. Let hexane C6H14 = gasoline. Perfect combustion yields harmless CO2 and H20, or water.
CO2 is not a pollutant and is beneficial to plant growth, as is water. Future R & D should be directed to achieving this perfect combustion e.g use of catalytic converters and by other means, of removing any associated nasties, or in preventing their formation. Similarly with the burning of COAL which is an abundant fossil fuel in Australia.
The burning of coal in a power station is a complex operation that can produce valuable byproducts if done properly. Basically, we have two sorts of coal, brown coal or lignite, and black coals, which are used for different purposes, like thermal coals for power generation and metallurgical coals for making steel etc. Australia is fortunate in having some enormous brown coal deposits having vast extent and depth, some with seams over 100 meters thick, that are worked by open cut methods.
Brown coals are too hydrous to export but are suitable for local power production after processing, usually by drying and pelletization. The cleaning of the final gas stream is done by electrostatic precipitators and by washing, which recovers valuable byproducts. More R & D needs doing these methods of cleaning the gas stream and use of byproducts. Also, the huge production of CO2 which is vented to the atmosphere may possibly be used in a more effective way for enhancing plant, or crop growth. Rather than closing down coal-fired power stations let us get our engineers and chemists to work on them to make them more efficient, cleaner and the envy of the world.
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