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Estimates and Spatial Distribution of Emissions from Sugar Cane Bagasse Fired Thermal Power Plants in Brazil

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DOI: 10.4236/gep.2015.36012    3,112 Downloads   3,548 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Sugar cane bagasse is one of the largest fuels used for electricity generation in Brazil and its usage has continuously increased to supply the energy demand. This paper presents emission inventory based on power plants burning sugar cane bagasse. The inventory involves the spatial distribution and the estimated flows for the following major pollutants: nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate material (PM), carbon dioxide (CO2) and total organic carbon (TOC). A total of 384 power plants were inventoried, representing a generated power of 9.9 GW, about 26% of the energy produced by thermal power plants sector. The plants are concentrated in two main poles: one of them in S?o Paulo State and nearby areas and the other one in coast of Brazilian Northeast. The limits proposed by the AP-42 Regulations of the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for the emission factors were applied. Additional emission factors identified in the scientific literature were also included in the analysis in order to assess the uncertainties associated to the estimative. The estimated emissions showed values in the range 16.0 - 20.5 Gg?year?1 for NOx, 18.0 - 267.0 Gg?year?1 for MP and 20.5 - 26.7 Tg?year?1 for CO2. The contribution of TOC showed a minor contribution around 10 - 20 Mg?year?1. PM showed to be the most representative pollutant emitted by the thermal plants burning sugar cane bagasse, but with a large range of uncertainty. There is a high level of uncertainty associated to the preparation of cane as well as the use of collectors to control particulate emissions. The adequate control over all stages could reduce the bagasse ash content in 90% or more.

 

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Kawashima, A. , Morais, M. , Martins, L. , Urbina, V. , Rafee, S. , Capucim, M. and Martins, J. (2015) Estimates and Spatial Distribution of Emissions from Sugar Cane Bagasse Fired Thermal Power Plants in Brazil. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 72-76. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.36012.

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