Greenhouse Gases--Perspectives on Coal
AUTHOR: Irene Smith, Charlotta Nilsson, Deborah Adams
DATE: August 1994
The latest in the series of Perspectives reports from IEA Coal Research reviews recent information on the abatement and control of greenhouse gases from coal.
The most reliable estimates of global greenhouse gas emissions from coal are used to obtain an approximation of coal's contribution to the greenhouse effect of around 20%. It is demonstrated that methods currently used to express these emissions in common terms, as global warming potentials, are inadequate and may underestimate the contributions from CH4 and N2O emissions relative to CO2. Nevertheless, CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas from coal. Recent information on abatement and control of greenhouse gases from coal is reviewed, focusing on CO2 emissions from power generation. Efficiency improvements offer the means of reducing CO2 emissions by about 20-60% for various technologies. For greater CO2 reductions, there are capture technologies which generally incur considerable energy penalties and costs. The feasibility and cost of CO2 disposal is examined but there is still a lack of data on the various options.