Environmental effects of increased coal utilization: ecological effects of gaseous emissions from coal combustion

Environmental Health Perspectives
N R Glass

Abstract

This report is limited to an evaluation of the ecological and environmental effects of gaseous emissions and aerosols of various types which result from coal combustion. It deals with NOx, SOx, fine particulate, photochemical oxidant and acid precipitation as these pollutants affect natural and managed resources and ecosystems. Also, synergistic effects involving two or more pollutants are evaluated as well as ecosystem level effects of gaseous pollutants. There is a brief summary of the effects on materials and atmospheric visibility of increased coal combustion. The economic implications of ecological effects are identified to the extent they can be determined within acceptable limits. Aquatic and terrestrial effects are distinguished where the pollutants in question are clearly problems in both media. At present, acid precipitation is most abundant in the north central and northeastern states. Total SOx and NOx emissions are projected to remain high in these regions while increasing relatively more in the western than in the eastern regions of the country. A variety of ecological processes are affected and altered by air pollution. Such processes include community succession and retrogression, nutrient biogeochemical cycling...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Lignite
Nitrogen Oxides
Sulfur Oxides
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Waste Products
Water Pollution
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
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Air Pollution

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