Kriel: second most polluted in the world

These non-combustible gases that are released into the air that cause the air pollution, are more toxic to humans than what we think.

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Greenpeace India recently commissioned NASA satellites to study and illustrate the extremely high levels of air pollution.
It was shocking that the area around Kriel ranked second on the list for sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions word wide, after a nickel smelter in Russia. In the same breath it can be believed, as Eskom has 12 power stations in the area and Sasol’s coal to liquid plant is also a contributor.
The Bulletin recently reported on Sasol’s emissions abatement programme. A few weeks ago, there was an article in The Bulletin regarding the threat that Sasol is facing regarding their sulphur emission standards. The article said that by 2025 Sasol has to comply with the new sulphur dioxide emission limit of 500 milligrams per normal cubic metre.
In that same article Sasol released the following media statement: “Sasol is on track with the implementation of abatement technology in accordance with these roadmaps to meet the new plant standards by 2025. Improvement associated with the implementation of the roadmaps can already be demonstrated.”
How emissions are formed:
The coal is sourced and delivered to the power station. (Inherently South African coal contains large amounts of sulphur, which in the combustion process is released as sulphur dioxide.) From there the coal goes to the mills and from there to the power station furnaces. This combustion process heats up the water and turns the water into steam. The steam is utilised to turn the turbines and generate electricity.
Coal burns at approximately 1300 – 1400 degrees Celsius. When coal burns, non-combustible gases are released. Some of these gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and various other non-combustible gases and are released into the air via smokestacks.
“Previously the Department of Environmental Affairs set emission targets for various gases. Filters known as precipitators were installed in the smokestacks to minimise the content of the released emissions. These targets were lowered from time to time to comply with international standards. The new target for these emissions in terms of SO2 (sulphur dioxide) was set lower, but today is not met due to inefficient filtering systems at the Eskom power stations. These filtering systems are installed in the smokestacks.” a source told The Bulletin.
These non-combustible gases that are released into the air that cause the air pollution, are more toxic to humans than what we think. They are the cause of many respiratory diseases that are more detrimental to children, pregnant women and the elderly.
– Ané Prinsloo

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