Best answer: Why is sulfur a problem in burning coal?

What happens to sulfur when coal is burned?

All types of coal also contain sulfur, which, when burned, releases toxic air pollution. Sulfur content is determined by the conditions under which the coal is formed. Low-sulfur coal deposits develop in freshwater environments; high-sulfur deposits come from brackish swamps or marine-influenced environments [1].

How can burning sulfur cause problems?

Sulfur dioxide irritates the respiratory tract and increases the risk of tract infections. It causes coughing, mucus secretion and aggravates conditions such as asthma and chronic bronchitis.

Why should sulfur be removed from coal?

When coal is burned to produce energy, its chemical makeup is changed and sulfur is released. To avoid environmental problems with the sulfur, coal companies and power plants take measures to remove it before, during and after burning.

What is the main problem with burning coal?

Burning coal releases toxins.

Coal contains sulfur and other elements, including dangerous metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic, that escape into the air when coal is burned. Burning coal also produces particulates that increase air pollution and health dangers.

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Why is sulfur bad for the environment?

What are the environmental effects of SO2 and other sulfur oxides? At high concentrations, gaseous SOx can harm trees and plants by damaging foliage and decreasing growth. SO2 and other sulfur oxides can contribute to acid rain which can harm sensitive ecosystems.

What substance is added in the final stages to remove sulfur from coal?

SO2 emissions can be controlled in this system by adding a sorbent (a substance used to absorb any SO2 present, for example lime or limestone) to the bed of inert material. The limestone effectively absorbs the SO2 as it is released from the coal and retains it within the ash, which is removed regularly.

Why is Sulphur removed from fuels before they are burned?

Crude oil contains sulphur. When sulphur is burned, it produces sulphur dioxide. If this gets into the atmosphere, it can cause what is called ‘acid rain‘. … Therefore, wherever possible, we want to remove sulphur from fuels before we burn them.

What happens if you breathe in sulfur?

What immediate health effects can be caused by exposure to sulfur dioxide? Inhaling sulfur dioxide causes irritation to the nose, eyes, throat, and lungs. Typical symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, burning eyes, and cough. Inhaling high levels can cause swollen lungs and difficulty breathing.

How do you reduce sulphur?

One option is to use coal that contains less sulfur. Another option is to “wash” the coal to remove some of the sulfur. The power plant can also install equipment called scrubbers, which remove the sulfur dioxide from gases leaving the smokestack.

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How does removal of sulphur from coal reduce air pollution?

The sulfur in coal combines with oxygen to form sulfur dioxide, which can be a major source of air pollution if emitted in large enough quantities. … Coal cleaning can remove the pyritic sulfur, which can reduce sulfur content by as much as 30 percent.

Does burning coal produce sulfur dioxide?

Sulfur dioxide, SO2, is a colorless gas or liquid with a strong, choking odor. It is produced from the burning of fossil fuels (coal and oil) and the smelting of mineral ores (aluminum, copper, zinc, lead, and iron) that contain sulfur.