N2O emissions from coal use

Author(s): Mitsuru Takeshita , LL Sloss, Irene Smith

Ref: IEAPER/06
ISBN: 92-9029-227-X
Published Date: 01/11/1993
No. of Tables: 10
No. of Figures: 3
No. of Pages: 28


Emissions of N20 have a role in the enhanced greenhouse effect. N20 is a long-lived gas, surviving in the atmosphere for about 130 years. The concentration of N20 in the atmosphere is increasing due to a variety of sources including a small contribution from coal combustion. It has been suggested that NOx abatement and control technologies and fluidised bed combustion systems may increase emissions of N20 from coal use. This report evaluates these emissions and considers measures which may be taken to prevent increased emissions of N20 from such technologies. It is estimated that global coal use is currently responsible for 2-6% of the total emissions of N20 from human activities or <1-2% of total sources of N20 . Flue gas desulphurisation technologies for SO2 control, combustion modifications and selective catalytic reduction for NOx control do not affect or may reduce N20 emissions. Selective non-catalytic reduction production probably increases N20 emissions. Fluidised bed combustion of coal emits considerably higher concentrations of N20 than conventional combustion. Optimal measures for N20 control require verification on commercial fluidised bed combustion plants.

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