Economic evaluation for air pollution control technologies selection in power plants processes

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Air quality legislation is entering a transformation phase, shifting the concept of atmospheric emission control towards pollution prevention and emission minimization through a more integrated approach. This transformation, along with public pressure and increased foreign trade, is providing industries with incentives to consider their effect on the environment and to take action where required. To assist industries in determining what air pollution control technologies are best suited to power plants; an assessment of air pollution control technologies used in other countries was carried out. This assessment concluded that the best available technologies for power plants to control air emissions are electrostatic precipitators, low-NOX burners, selective catalytic reduction systems and wet flue gas desulphurization (limestone) systems. An assessment of the financial effects associated with air pollution control at power plants was conducted by completing a cost analysis. This analysis demonstrated that by increasing capital expenditure on control technologies by US$ 0.25 billion, the external costs associated with producing electricity can be reduced by almost US$ 0.5 billion. Formulation of external cost factors and the development of a software database for the information obtained from the different countries, will promote future technology selections.

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