Accurate calculations give clearer view of air

AUSTRALIANS can more accurately predict and deal with power station emissions following research by the CRC for Coal in Sustainable Development, CCSD.

Staff Reporter

Power producers had previously been using emission factors largely based on USA data that were not indicative of Australian coal.

The work was carried out by CCSD researchers, Prof Peter Nelson, Macquarie University, and Dr Moetaz Attalla and Ken Riley, both from CSIRO, and provided an important input into a revision of NPI reporting procedures for the Australian electricity industry commissioned by the Electricity Supply Association of Australia (ESAA). Pacific Power International performed the revision and the CCSD study results were an essential input to developing improved emission estimation procedures for black coal generators.

The CCSD study has provided more confidence in the reporting procedures for emissions of trace species from power production. Power producers, along with other industries, are required to report such emissions through the National Pollutants Inventory (NPI), set up by Environment Australia (EA) for the Federal Government.

All coal-fired power stations in New South Wales and Queensland participated in the work.

The local power producers saw the need for local data, and commissioned a number of research organisations, to sample and analyse for trace metals and organic species. Measurements related to black coal generation were made from the stack emissions at nine NSW and Queensland power plants. CCSD researchers supported the industry through the ESAA in critically reviewing the NPI methodology, notably emission factors, identifying the need for additional measurements and making recommendations on reporting procedures.

Dr Chris Spero, Manager Engineering Technology, CS Energy, said that CCSD’s work on the NPI has made a major contribution to the coal and electricity industry in Australia through the application of “good science.”

“The industry has suggested to Environment Australia a revised NPI methodology, which draws on CCSD input and is applicable to Australian coal- fired power generators,” he said.