UO study: Cooling coal emissions could lead to cleaner air

University of Oregon

University of Oregon Physicist Russ Donnelly led a team that discovered how cooling coal plant emissions can reduce the amount of hazardous chemicals released into the air. 

An analysis by a team of University of Oregon physicists found that cooling the emissions from coal-fired power plants could significantly drop the levels of dangerous chemicals dispersed into the air.

The research โ€” published in Physical Review E, a journal of the American Physical Society โ€” is the work of a team led by UO physicist Russell J. Donnelly that was backed by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Also, a separate, unpublished economic analysis from UO researchers found that the cryogenic process would likely increase the cost of power and would require cooling machinery that can reach the size of a football stadium. But the equipment, according to Donnelly, isn't much more expensive than pollution control equipment now being used by power plants.

And those negatives would be further offset by a 38 percent drop in costs associated with health care and battling climate change.

"The cryogenic treatment of flue gasses from pulverized coal plants is possible, and I think affordable, especially with respect to the total societal costs of burning coal," Donnelly said in a UO news release Monday.

Read the complete University of Oregon report here.


If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.