Keywords: trace elements, coal, emissions, control technologies
Trace elements - controlling emissions from coal combustion
International and national legislation is increasingly being applied to trace element emissions. Although emissions have decreased for a variety of reasons in many developed countries, continued use of coal and more successful control strategies in other sectors mean that coal combustion is still a relatively important source of some trace elements, especially mercury. Existing pollution control equipment for other emissions is also effective in reducing most trace element emissions. However, the more volatile trace elements are captured to a much lower extent in coal-fired power stations. These species are still relatively poorly understood and this is reflected in the confusion over the best approach to control emissions.