Author(s): Mokhtar MM, Taib RM, Hassim MH
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Abstract The Proposed New Environmental Quality (Clean Air) Regulation 201X (Draft), which replaces the Malaysia Environmental Quality (Clean Air) 1978, specifies limits to additional pollutants from power generation using fossil fuel. The new pollutants include Hg, HCl, and HF with limits of 0.03, 100, and 15 mg/N-m3 at 6\% O2, respectively. These pollutants are normally present in very small concentrations (known as trace elements [TEs]), and hence are often neglected in environmental air quality monitoring in Malaysia. Following the enactment of the new regulation, it is now imperative to understand the TEs behavior and to assess the capability of the existing abatement technologies to comply with the new emission limits. This paper presents the comparison of TEs behavior of the most volatile (Hg, Cl, F) and less volatile (As, Be, Cd, Cr, Ni, Se, Pb) elements in subbituminous and bituminous coal and coal combustion products (CCP) (i.e., fly ash and bottom ash) from separate firing of subbituminous and bituminous coal in a coal-fired power plant in Malaysia. The effect of air pollution control devices configuration in removal of TEs was also investigated to evaluate the effectiveness of abatement technologies used in the plant. This study showed that subbituminous and bituminous coals and their CCPs have different TEs behavior. It is speculated that ash content could be a factor for such diverse behavior In addition, the type of coal and the concentrations of TEs in feed coal were to some extent influenced by the emission of TEs in flue gas. The electrostatic precipitator (ESP) and seawater flue gas desulfurization (FGD) used in the studied coal-fired power plant were found effective in removing TEs in particulate and vapor form, respectively, as well as complying with the new specified emission limits. Implications: Coals used by power plants in Peninsular Malaysia come from the same supplier (Tenaga Nasional Berhad Fuel Services), which is a subsidiary of the Malaysia electricity provider (Tenaga Nasional Berhad). Therefore, this study on trace elements behavior in a coal-fired power plant in Malaysia could represent emission from other plants in Peninsular Malaysia. By adhering to the current coal specifications and installation of electrostatic precipitator (ESP) and flue gas desulfurization, the plants could comply with the limits specified in the Malaysian Department of Environment (DOE) Scheduled Waste Guideline for bottom ash and fly ash and the Proposed New Environmental Quality (Clean Air) Regulation 201X (Draft).
This article was published in J Air Waste Manag Assoc
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology