Organic Compounds from Coal Utilisation
AUTHOR: Lesley Sloss
DATE: September 2001
Coal combustion can lead to emissions of organic compounds to the atmosphere, if the combustion system is inefficient. International protocols on emissions of some organic species have been established due to concern with respect to their role in ground level ozone formation and potential human health effects. These protocols acknowledge that efficient coal combustion in large coal-fired power plants is a negligible source of organic emissions. However, coal use in less efficient sectors such as residential stoves and some industrial practices can be a significant source of local emissions.
Evaluating emissions of organic compounds from sources such as coal combustion can be difficult due to the low concentrations and the large number of different compounds released. Emission inventories are commonly based on emission factors. This report reviews data on emissions from coal combustion from large-scale pulverised units down to small residential stoves. Emissions from industrial coal use such as for coke manufacture, metal production and cement kilns are also included. The effects of parameters such as fuel type, combustion conditions and pollution control systems are summarised. Best practices, many of which concentrate on increasing efficiency, are reviewed for all coal-related sources.