The Environmental impact of Heat and Electricity Production

Climate and environment blog

In many countries, the consumption of oil has decreased. At the same time, it has also increased in many countries. A large part of this reduction in these countries is due to the fact that heating of homes and other premises today is primarily done with the help of electricity and biofuels, and that electricity generation is mainly done with nuclear power and hydropower.

These countries have thus implemented the part of the reduction in the use of fossil energy that remains to be implemented for large parts of the world.

Reduced consumption and lower sulfur content result in less environmental impact

Various types of air pollution from fossil fuels have declined significantly over the past decade. This is mainly due to the sharp reduction in the use of heating oils for heating purposes, but also because the oil companies today can supply heating oils with very low sulfur content.

Types of emissions

Despite a reduced need for oil-based heat and electricity production as well as new purification technologies, emissions in this sector affect our environment in the following ways:

Greenhouse gases are the term for a number of gases found naturally in the atmosphere. These include water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, Freon and methane. They are called greenhouse gases because they absorb the heat radiation from the earth and thus prevent the radiation, which causes the air in the atmosphere to heat up.

It creates an average temperature of 15 degrees, which gives the possibility of life on earth, but if the amounts of greenhouse gases increase too much, it can cause the climate of the earth to become too hot.

Sulfur is part of many fuels and is converted into sulfur dioxide by combustion. In the air, the sulfur dioxide can react with water and oxygen and is converted to sulfuric acid. The acid eventually rains down and causes acidification of soils and watercourses.

Fossil fuels, not least coal, gasoline, diesel fuel, and heating oils all emit sulfur.

Nitrogen is emitted when burning fossil fuels. It can partly contribute to eutrophication in watercourses and partly to acidification in the form of nitric oxide which is converted to nitric acid. However, the catalytic purification has resulted in a sharp reduction in nitric oxide emissions.

Hydrocarbons are released into the air through incomplete combustion of fossil fuels or through evaporation from oil products. Hydrocarbons are harmful to humans and the environment in several ways, so it is important to handle the products in such a way that evaporation or incomplete combustion is prevented. Catalysts on both petrol and diesel cars significantly reduce emissions.

Particles are unburned residues in the exhaust gases that can be harmful to health.

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