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Atmosphere 2014, 5(4), 830-846; doi:10.3390/atmos5040830

Analysis on Effectiveness of SO2 Emission Reduction in Shanxi, China by Satellite Remote Sensing

School of Geosciences and Info-Physics, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
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Received: 5 August 2014 / Revised: 18 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 October 2014 / Published: 10 November 2014
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Abstract

The SO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants in China have been regulated since 2005 by a mandatory installation of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) devices. In order to verify the effectiveness of FGD systems applied in power plants, Shanxi (a province well-known for the largest coal reserves in China) was selected, and the characteristic and evolution of SO2 densities over 22 regions with large coal-fired power plants during 2005–2012 were investigated by using the satellite remote sensing data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). A unit-based inventory was also employed to study the trend of SO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants in Shanxi. The results show that the operation of FGD systems was successful in reducing SO2 emissions from power plants during 2005–2010: the mean SO2 densities satellite-observed over those regions with power plants operated before 2005 showed a notable decrease of approximate 0.4 DU; the mean SO2 densities over other regions with power plants newly built behind 2006 did not show a statistical increasing trend overall; the mean SO2 density over the whole Shanxi also showed a moderate decline from 2008 to 2010. However, the polluted conditions over Shanxi during 2011–2012 rebounded and the declining trend in mean SO2 density over the whole Shanxi disappeared again. In comparison of unit-based emission inventory, the emissions calculated show a similar trend with SO2 densities satellite-observed during 2005–2010 and still maintain at a lower volume during 2011–2012. By investigating the developments of other emission sources in Shanxi during 2005–2012, it is considered that the rapid expansion of industries with high coal-consumption has played an important role for the increment rise of SO2 emissions. Lack of an independent air quality monitoring network and the purposeful reduced operation rate of FGD systems occurring in some coal-fired power plants have reduced the effectiveness of SO2 emission reduction policy applied in Shanxi. In view that the SO2 pollution in Shanxi has not been well ameliorated, more reasonable and mandatory policies, such as a national-wide independent monitoring network and installation of FGD systems in other large emission sources, should be pushed out in the near future. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental remote sensing; SO2; OMI; power plants; emission reduction environmental remote sensing; SO2; OMI; power plants; emission reduction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Song, H.; Yang, M. Analysis on Effectiveness of SO2 Emission Reduction in Shanxi, China by Satellite Remote Sensing. Atmosphere 2014, 5, 830-846.

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