Emission of pollution

Emission of pollution indicates the mass of substances emitted directly into the environment from natural sources (eg, volcanic eruptions, land erosion, etc.) as well as from anthropogenic sources (combustion of fuel processes, industry, agriculture. Due to the way of emitting pollutants into the environment, emission sources are divided into organized (eg chimneys) and unorganized (for example, storage of bulk materials in dumps) Regardless of the nature of the emissions, the quantity of substances introduced into the environment is determined in weight units at a given time: g/h, g/s, kg/h, kg/year.

The amount of substances emitted into the environment and the time variability of the emission for a given emitter, as well as the emitter's spatial distribution, significantly influence the air quality in the area.

In Poland the main source of emissions are the processes of fuel combustion, and the primary fossil energy carriers in the national economy is hard coal. The amount of pollutants emitted to the environment depends on the technological process, while contaminant plumes depends on the fuel used (Table 1).

Tab. 1. Types of pollution emitted during combustion of fuels (za Janka, 2014)

Emissions can be determined using several different calculation methods:

  • a method using the measurement results (for organized sources for which obligation for measurement is required,Dz.U. z 2014 poz. 1542):
    1. continuous measurements (e.g., for a fuel combustion installation with a total rated power of ≥ 100 MW)
    2. periodic measurements
  • on the basis the balance of substances used in the processes
  • on the basis of emission factors

The indicator method uses the values of the discharge or emission ratios specified for the particular pollutant as well as the type of installation, eg. the type and power of the boiler used. This method is basically used to determine the emission of particulate and gaseous pollutants generated by the combustion of solid fuels (coal, coke, wood), liquid (fuel oil, diesel) or gas (natural gas, coking coal, LPG). These indicators make it possible to estimate how many pollutants are emitted from a given device from the unit weight or volume of fuel used.

Elaborated by A. Drzeniecka-Osiadacz