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So2 emissions

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    27th Aug, 2019

India is the largest emitter of sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the world, contributing more than 15 per cent of global anthropogenic emissions, according to a new report released by Greenpeace.

Context

India is the largest emitter of sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the world, contributing more than 15 per cent of global anthropogenic emissions, according to a new report released by Greenpeace.

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  • The primary reason for India’s high emission output is the expansion of coal-based electricity generation over the past decade, the report added.
  • Five of the top 10 SO2 emission hotspots from coal/power generation industry across the world are in India.
  • The analysis is based on hotspots detected by NASA Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite data that captured more than 500 major source points of SO2 emissions across the globe including natural sources such as volcanoes.
  • The analysis excluded all natural sources and only anthropogenic sources of SO2 were investigated.

SO2 emissions

  • SO2 emissions are a significant contributor to air pollution.
  • Its direct exposure and exposure to particulate matter PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) produced when SO2 reacts with other air pollutants to form sulphate particles both affect human health.
  • The greatest source of SO2 in the atmosphere is the burning of fossil fuels in power plants and other industrial facilities.
  • Other sources include industrial processes such as extracting metal from ore, natural sources such as volcanoes, and locomotives, ships and other vehicles and heavy equipment that burn fuel with high sulphur content.
  • Thermal power plants or clusters at Singrauli, Neyveli, Talcher, Jharsuguda, Korba, Kutch, Chennai, Ramagundam, Chandrapur, and Koradi to be the major emission hotspots in the country.
  • The vast majority of plants in India lack flue-gas desulfurisation (FGD) technology to reduce air pollution, according to the report. The flue gas desulfurization (FGD) plant removes sulphur dioxides (SO2) from flue gas produced by boilers, furnaces, and other sources
  • In a first step to combat pollution levels, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change introduced, for the first time, sulphur dioxide emission limits for coal-fired power plants in December 2015. But the deadline for the installation of flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) in power plants has been extended from 2017 to 2022.
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