Paper presented at BAQ 2006 at Yogykarta,Indonesia

Coal, oil, gas and hydroelectric potential constitute the conventional sources of electricity generation. Total installed capacity of electricity generation in India is approx. 98,668 MW. India ranked third in the world with 7 percent coal reserves of the total world reserves. Coal production increased from 30 million tonnes to over 348 million tonnes in 1999. Expected to increase to 427 million tonne in 2010. Seventy percent of the total coal produced is consumed for power generation. Steel & cement are other major consumers.

Summary Table of Electric Power Generation
Coal Oil Gas Nuclear Hydro Others

59.2% 13.9% 06.3% 02.5% 17.8% 00.3%

21.2% 16.6% 22.1% 30.0% 08.2% 01.9%

51.8% 03.1% 15.7% 19.9% 07.4% 02.2%

Air Pollution :High particulate matter emission levels due to burning of inferior grade coal which leads to generation of large quantity of flyash Emissions of SO2, NOx & Green house gas (CO2) are also matter of concern Water Pollution :Mainly caused by the effluent discharge from ash ponds, condenser cooling /cooling tower, DM plant and Boiler blow down. High noise levels due to release of high pressure steam and running of fans and motors About 100 million tonnes of fly ash is generated by use of coal far energy production. The disposal of such large quantity of fly ash has occupied thousands hectares of land which includes agricultural and forest land too.

Noise Pollution Land Degradation :-


        Seventy one per cent of electricity production is based on coal and gas in the country. 83 coal based thermal power plants with total generation capacity of 62880.9 MW (as on July, 2003) 27 gas/naphtha based power plants with total generation capacity of 11299.6 MW (as on July, 2003) More than 240 million tonnes of coal with ash content 35-45% is consumed annually by the Thermal Power Plants. 3715 MT/day of SO2 is emitted from coal based power plants,which is 89% of total emission of SO2 from industries in India Nearly 100 million tonnes per annum coal ash is generated. More than 25,000 hectares of land has been occupied for conventional disposal of ash. More than 630 million M3 water is required for disposal of coal ash as in slurry form per annum

CO2 Particulate Matter SO2 NOx

Emissions (in tones/day)
424650 4374 3311 4966

Emission Estimates
Su gar 10% Cem ent 7% O thers 1% Therm al Power Plants 82%

Share of Suspended Particulate M atter Load (tonnes/day) by Different Categories of Industries (W Control Device), Total Load = ith 5365 tonnes/day

Share of Sulphur Dioxide Load (Tonnes / day) By different categories of Industries (Total Load = 3715 Tonnes / day)

O R fin rie il e e s 3 % S e te l 5 %

S lp ric A id u hu c P n la ts 2 %

O e th rs 1 %

Th rm l P w r e a o e P n la ts 8% 9

Power Generation Capacity
< 210 MW = > 210 MW

Particulate Emission


350 mg/Nm3 150 mg/Nm3

Depending upon the requirement of local situations, which may warrant stricter standards as in case of protected areas the State Pollution Control Board within the provisions of the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986, may be prescribed limit of 150 mg/Nm3 irrespective of the generation capacity of the plant

For the proper dispersion of SO2 emission from thermal power plant, stack height criteria have been adopted in country. However, for larger capacities boilers (500MW and above) space provision for installing FGD system has been recommended.
Power generation capacity
Less than 200/210 MW

Stack Height (mts.)

H = 14 (Q) 0.3 , where Q is emission rate of SO in kg/hr, 2 H= Stack Height 200/210 or less than 500 220 MW 500 MW and above 275

Status of Pollution Control in Thermal Power Plants in India
Total number of power plants Air Pollution
Power plants complying with emission standards • Power plants not complying with emission standards • Power plants closed



: : :

43 35 03

Water Pollution

Power plants complying with ash pond Effluent standards • Power plants not complying with ash pond Effluent standards • Power plants closed

: : :

49 29 03

REASONS FOR NON-COMPLIANCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS IN THERMAL POWER PLANTS Inconsistent supply of coal High resistivity of coal Inefficient operation of ESPs Delay in supply of ESPs Low Specific Collection Area (SCA) of ESPs Inefficient management of ash ponds Large quantities of ash generation

Need for adoption of CCTs
To meet in creasing demand of power with minimal environmental impact for sustainable development, adoption of clean coal technologies with enhanced power plant efficiency, fuel switching, use of washed coal, efficient pollution control systems and proper by-product and waste handling & utilization, is necessary.

Classification :
Pre-combustion Technologies : Ash, sulphur and other impurities (coal benefaction) ca n be reduced from the coal before it is burned Generation of emissions of SO2, NOx and CO2 can be minimised by adopting improved combustion technologies End of pipe treatment (installation pollution control equipments such as ESP, DENOx & De SO systems)

Combustion technologies : (FBC : CBFC, AFBC,PFBC, IGCC) Post combustion technologies :

In order to minimise fly ash generation, it was recommended to use beneficiated coal in the power plants. A Gazette notification has been issued under EPA, 1986, stating that :

“On and from the 1st day of June 2002, the following coal based thermal power plants shall use beneficiated coal with ash content not exceeding thirty four percent, namely :  Power plants located beyond 1000 km from the pit head and  Power plants located in urban area or sensitive area or critically polluted area irrespective of their distance from the pit head except any pit headed power plants.

The power plants based on FBC (CFBC, PFBC & AFBC) and IGCC technologies are exempted to use beneficiated coal irrespective of their locations.

Implementation of use of beneficiated coal in thermal power plant w.r.t. June 30, 2002, shall yield following benefits during 2002-03:
Reduction in tonnage (MT) Saving in transport cost (US M$) Saving in Diesel consumption (KL) Reduction in Bottom Ash (MT) Reduction in Fly Ash (MT) Reduction in CO2 (MT) 11 240 63750 2 8 23

Out of 81 coal based thermal Power plants, 39 plants are required to use beneficiated coal not containing ash more than 34% w.r.t. June 30, 2002.

Ministry of environment and forests has issued following directions under section 3 & 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 vide a Gazette notification no. GSR . 763 (E) dated 14/09/1999 Use of flyash, bottom ash or pond ash in the manufacture of bricks and other construction activities Utilisation of flyash by thermal power plants and Specifications for use of flyash based products by Government agencies

Action Plans for utilisation of Flyash by Thermal Power Plants
Submission of action plans by the power plants New Power Plants
• 30 % flyash utilisation within 3 year
• 100 % flyash utilisation within 9 years

Existing Power Plants • 20 % flyash utilisation within 3 year

• 100 % flyash utilisation within 15 years
Out of 81 power plants, 52 power plants have been submitted their action plans remaining have been asked to submit action plans immediately.

• Existing coal based power plants being monitored by the regulatory agencies and directions are issued • Use of Beneficiated Coal in Thermal Power Plants • Emphasis on clean technology for new plants • Emphasis on utilisation of fly ash • Emphasis on non-carbon/low carbon based technologies for power sector • Emphasis on on cogeneration

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