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paper代写-The Air Pollution Caused by Coal Power in Colorado

2019-01-28 | 来源:51due教员组 | 类别:Paper代写范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的paper代写范文- The Air Pollution Caused by Coal Power in Colorado,供大家参考学习,这篇论文讨论了科罗拉多州煤炭发电造成的空气污染。科罗拉多州的煤炭行业发言人说过,该州的燃煤电厂导致了严重的空气污染,但由于科罗拉多州60%的能源来自燃烧煤炭,所以必须对煤粉进行代价高昂的改革。燃煤电厂是美国二氧化硫污染的主要来源,它对公共卫生造成了重大损害,这些有毒气体悬浮在空气中,并在山体上形成烟柱。因此,过度排放是目前空气污染的主要问题。

Air Pollution,科罗拉多州空气污染,英国论文代写,论文代写,paper代写

Abstract:

This paper analyzes the implementation of existing policies based on the current state of air pollution in Colorado and propose some alternative solutions which can help to solve the air pollution problems.

The industrial revolution has greatly accelerated the pace of human civilization development. Energy is the material basis of human society, and its importance is growing as the economic growth is growing. Large-scale blackouts in parts of the northeastern United States and eastern Canada in 2003 have caused huge losses, so that peoplewere increasingly aware of the importance of energy in modern civilization. Most of the energy needed by mankind is obtained by burning fossil fuels. These fuels produce a lot of contaminants in the combustion process, thus causing air pollution.

The emissions of air pollutants from coal power plants account for a large proportion of the total industrial system. Coal combustion process will produce a lot of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, mercury and so on. This has a bad effect both on the environment and human health. This paper discusses the impact of coal power plants on air quality based on the state of Colorado and analyzes the existing solutions.

Current problem

Dianna Orf, spokeswoman for Colorado's coal industry, said coal-fired power plants in the state have already made a lot of emissions. She also pointed out that this proposed rules may requied expensive changes to coal powder based on the status quo that 60 percent of Colorado’s energy comes from coal. 

Coal plants are the United States’ leading source of SO2 pollution, which takes a major toll on public health, including by contributing to the formation of small acidic particulates that can penetrate into human lungs and be absorbed by the bloodstream. SO2 also causes acid rain, which damages soils, crops, and forests, and acidifies streams and lakes. A typical coal plant without control emits 14,100 tons of SO2 per year. A typical coal plant with emissions controls, including flue gas desulfurization, emits 7,000 tons of SO2 per year. “For decades, the coal-fired Drake plant at the heart of Colorado Springs has emitted up to 9,000 tons per year of sulfur dioxide.”(Bruce Finley, 2017). These toxic gas hangs in the air and mixes into a plume against mountains. The Sierra Club, an environmental organization in the United States, hired experts who measured Colorado Springs SO2 concentrations at 635 parts per billion, the result showed it is 8.4 times higher than the national limit. But city and state officials rejected the Sierra Club’s 2015 analysis. The reason is that they think the analysis was not representative. “There’s no rational reason for keeping this power plant open. It is wasting money and hurting people.” said by Travis Ritchie who is a attorney of the Sierra Club. Therefore, excessive emissions are still the main problem now.

Except for sulfur dioxide, scientists have shown that particulate matter can cause heart disease, lung disease, asthma and other diseases. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles which are less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into lungs, and some may even get into bloodstream. Apart from that, particles can be carried over long distances by wind and then settle on ground or water. Depending on complicated chemical composition, the effects of this settling may include: making lakes and streams acidic, damaging sensitive forests and farm crops, changing the nutrient balance in coastal waters and large river basins, depleting the nutrients in soil, affecting the diversity of ecosystems.

Mercury emissions bring widespread and lasting environmental pollution to humans. Excessive mercury emissions lead to child retardation and neurological damage, especially it has greater impact on future generations when pregnancy women affected by mercury.

In addition, the increasing temperatures and violent weather related to global warming are a threat to Colorado's economy, including summer recreation, agriculture, and skiing. Colorado is celebrated for its stunning visual scenery, iconic national parks, and world-class recreational areas. Every year, at least 65% of Colorado residents participate in outdoor recreation. Additionally, Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy generates $13.2 billion in consumer spending and 125,000 jobs. Clean, breathable air is important to tourist industry and essential to inhabitants’ livelihood.

Although there are Clean Air Act, but many coal power plants are still in violation of the provisions. For example, “Ameren Missouri's coal-fired power plant near St. Louis violates the Clean Air Act and has created ‘significantly more pollution’ since modifications were made.”(Jim Salter, 2017)

Existing program

At present, the Clean Air Act is the most familiar law which solve the problems of air pollution. It is a comprehensive federal law which regulates air emissions from stationary and mobile sources. This law authorizes EPA to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), in order to protect public welfare and regulate the release of harmful gases, and protect citizens' health.

One of the objectives of the bill was to develop and implement National Ambient Air Quality Standards by 1975 in each country to address the public health and welfare risks associated with a wide range of air pollutants. Develop these pollutant standards and apply them to the appropriate industrial sources of the country. The bill was amended in 1977 and 1990. Section 112 of the Clean Air Act addresses emissions of hazardous air pollutants. The 1990 Clean Air Act amended Section 112, which first requires the issuance of technical standards for major sources and from certain regional sources. "Primary source" is defined as a release or possible release source that is likely to emit 10 tons or more of hazardous air pollutants or 25 tons or more of hazardous air pollutants per year.

For sulfur dioxide, the Clean Air Act requires EPA to set national ambient air quality standards for sulfur oxides as one of the six criteria pollutants. The NAAQS for sulfur oxides are currently set using SO2 as the indicator of the larger group of sulfur oxides. The law also requires EPA to periodically review the standards and revise them if appropriate to ensure that they provide the requisite amount of health and environmental protection and to update those standards as necessary.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM pollution specify a maximum amount of PM to be present in outdoor air. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set national air quality standards for particulate matter. Particulate matter as one of the six criteria pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment. The law also requires EPA to periodically review the standards, in order to ensure that they provide adequate health and environmental protection, and to update those standards as necessary.

According to the corresponding policy, the Government has taken corresponding measures. Officials said, “One coal-fired power plant in Colorado will shut down and part of a second plant will stop operating under an agreement that will make deep cuts in air pollution”(Dan Elliott, 2016). The Nucla Station power plant in southwestern Colorado and its coal supplier, the New Horizon Mine, will close by the end of 2022. Unit 1 of the coal-fired Craig Station power plant will shut down by the end of 2025, but two other units will keep operating with new technology to reduce pollution. Besides Martin Drake Power Plant in Colorado is trying out a new stack gas scrubber design, with water as a pollutant capturing medium. The device could capture approximately 90 percent of the sulfur pollutants from the flue gas using only tap water as a capture fluid.

The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that by 2020, the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments will avoid about 230,000 adults and 280 infant deaths from particle pollution every year, and prevent over 2.4 million people suffering from serious asthma attacks, reduce nearly 120,000 emergency treatment, because of related illnesses caused by air pollution. The agency has reported that every dollar which is spend using to reduce air pollution will create $3 to $90 in benefits.

But there is still a voice of opposition. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court reiterated Environmental Protection Agency limits on mercury emissions on coal-fired power plants. They said that the government must consider the costs of the result before deciding whether corresponding regulation is appropriate and necessary. “The new mercury limits would have generated just $4 million to $6 million in health benefits, but cost utilities $9.6 billion for compliance.”(Sabrina Eaton, 2015). EPA's requirements were "imposed without regard to costs, energy requirements or local resources.". FirstEnergy spent $370 million to upgrading and remoulding the six coal-fired plants which will be reserved. The EPA considers that the legislation protects more than 560 people from premature death in 2016, at the same time, it created as much as $4.6 billion in health and welfare.

The imbalance between spending and income makes people skeptical, but in the long run, the advantages of this policy is really outweigh the disadvantages.

In addition to shutting down and transforming coal plants, the government is still considering other viable measures. Will Allison, Colorado Air Pollution Control Division director, said that “a number of options are being considered, including improving insulation at existing coal plants, shifting generation to natural-gas combined plants, more renewable energy and conservation”(Steven K. Paulson, 2015). Colorado officals said that the target of the EPA rule is reducing 30 percent of the nationwide emissions of carbon-dioxide by 2030.

Suggested solutions

Only by shutting down and remoulding part of the coal power plant can not fundamentally solve the problem. The development of new energy is becoming the world's common way to solve energy problems. Compared with fossil fuels, new energy sources has the advantages of renewable, environmentally friendly. It is more correspond to the goal of human sustainable development. As the technology is not yet fully mature, the key equipment still need to continue to upgrade, and supporting policies is not perfect, the new energy power generation costs in the short term there is no significant decline. New energy power generation costs will not be substantially reduced in the short term. But with the technological progress, the scale expansion and the improvement of the supply chain, further intensify policy support, New energy will gradually achieve large-scale, commercial, industrial developmet. Especially taking the coal, oil, nature gas and other traditional energy prices and environmental costs into account, after 5-10 years, part of the new energy power costs will be close to the traditional fossil energy. And then, the advantage of market competitive will gradually appear.

Let us do a further comparison between new energy and traditional energy.

Hydroelectricity is the way in which the water energy in rivers, lakes or oceans is converted into electric power. Water is an inexhaustible clean energy. However, in order to be able to effectively use natural water, people need to build buildings that can concentrate water flow and adjust the flow, such as dams. So the project has large investment and long constructuin period. Hydroelectric power generation can also consistitude a comprehensive utilization system by combined with shipping, aquaculture irrigation, flood control, and tourism.

Wind energy is a clean, renewable and large amount resource. Wind power is environmentally friendly and reproducible, but is strictly subject to geographical and climatic constraints.

The energy released by nuclear fission is million times of the energy released by fossil fuels, so the fuel volume is much less than that of coal plants. In addition, nuclear power generation does not cause air pollution. But the most important thing, nuclear power plants produce radioactive waste.

This shows that the environmental protection and energy saving advantages of new energy power can not be replaced. The development of new energy in line with the basic requirements of healthy development of society.

Solar and wind energy supplies increased more than doubled between 2008 and 2014, from about 2 percent to 5 percent. And coal power dropped from 48 percent to 39 percent over the same period, and in the same time natural gas power generation grew from 21 percent to 27 percent. Starla Yeh, a senior policy analyst for climate and clean air at the NRDC,said, “Many analysts expect renewable capacity to double again from 2015 levels by 2021.” Congress reauthorized two important tax credits for wind and solar power in 2015. These credits will help to drive further development of renewable energy.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s estimated that there are 0.7 percent increase in power demand annually between 2015 and 2030. Researchers found that scenarios combining wind, solar, and natural gas power with a nationwide transmission grid cut greenhouse gas emissions from 33 to 78 percent below 1990 levels. The cost to ratepayers was between $0.086 and $0.10 per kilowatt-hour—comparable to the actual average nationwide cost of $0.094 per kilowatt-hour in 2015 and potentially saving power customers $47.2 billion a year.

Reference

[1] Bruce Finley. (2017,January 15). Colorado Springs wrestles with sulfur dioxide pollution from central coal-fired power plant. From

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/01/15/colorado-springs-power-plant-sulfur-dioxide-pollution/

[2] Dan Elliott. (2016. September 2). Two Colorado coal-fired power units to close in clean-air deal. From

http://www.pennenergy.com/articles/pennenergy/2016/09/coal-news-2-colorado-coal-fired-power-units-to-close-in-clean-air-deal.html

[3] Emily J. Gertz. (2016, January 25). The U.S. Could Make a Fast, Cheap Switch to Clean Energy. From http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/01/25/us-could-make-fast-cheap-switch-clean-energy/

Jim Salter. (2017. January 24). Judge rules Ameren Missouri plant violates Clean Air Act. From

http://www.pennenergy.com/articles/pennenergy/2017/01/coal-news-judge-rules-ameren-missouri-plant-violates-clean-air-act.html

[4]John Laumer. (2009. February 12)Martin Drake Power Plant In Colorado Tests New Coal-Plant Emissions Scrubber. From

http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/martin-drake-power-plant-in-colorado-tests-new-coal-plant-emissions-scrubber.html

[5] Sabrina Eaton. (2015. June 29). Supreme Court overturns costly EPA mercury emissions rules for coal-fired power plants. From

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2015/06/supreme_court_overturns_costly.html

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