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Happonen M.,Tampere University of Technology | Myllari F.,Tampere University of Technology | Karjalainen P.,Tampere University of Technology | Frey A.,Finnish Meteorological Institute | And 9 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2013

Heavy fuel oil (HFO) is a commonly used fuel in industrial heating and power generation and for large marine vessels. In this study, the fine particle emissions of a 47 MW oil-fired boiler were studied at 30 MW power and with three different fuels. The studied fuels were HFO, water emulsion of HFO, and water emulsion of HFO mixed with light fuel oil (LFO). With all the fuels, the boiler emitted considerable amounts of particles smaller than 200 nm in diameter. Further, these small particles were quite hygroscopic even as fresh and, in the case of HFO+LFO emulsion, the hygroscopic growth of the particles was dependent on particle size. The use of emulsions and the addition of LFO to the fuel had a reducing effect on the hygroscopic growth of particles. The use of emulsions lowered the sulfate content of the smallest particles but did not affect significantly the sulfate content of particles larger than 42 nm and, further, the addition of LFO considerably increased the black carbon content of particulate matter. The results indicate that even the fine particles emitted from HFO based combustion can have a significant effect on cloud formation, visibility, and air quality. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Saarnio K.,Finnish Meteorological Institute | Frey A.,Finnish Meteorological Institute | Niemi J.V.,Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY | Niemi J.V.,University of Helsinki | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Aerosol Science | Year: 2014

Globally more than a quarter of the total primary energy supply is based on coal combustion. The emissions of coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) are regulated in many industrialized countries and therefore power plants use cleaning techniques to minimize emissions such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particles. In this study, the particulate emissions from coal combustion were investigated at a CFPP (506MW) used for combined heat and power production in Helsinki, Finland. Fine particle samples (PM1) were collected after electrostatic precipitator before the desulfurization plant (DSP), including flue gas desulfurization unit (FGD) and baghouse filters, and simultaneously in the smokestack to study the influence of DSP to particulate mass and chemistry. The DSP removed over 97% of particle mass in flue gas. Trace metals were removed efficiently but contribution of some ionic compounds increased in the FGD process. The particle properties were studied in more detail in the smokestack including particle size distribution measurements and size-segregating sampling to study chemical composition and morphology of particles. The particulate emissions from the CFPP were relatively small, consisting mainly of products and reagents of the FGD process (e.g., CaSO4, NaCl) and partly of the primary emissions from the coal combustion (e.g., mineral ash and reaction products of gas phase components). The maximum in particle volume was detected at 0.68μm. PM1 contributed on average 62 ± 5% to PM10 mass. Besides particulate matter, also the gas-phase emission of mercury was studied because coal combustion is one of the major sources of mercury found in the environment. The mercury emissions were within the proposed limits in the EU. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Frey A.K.,Finnish Meteorological Institute | Saarnio K.,Finnish Meteorological Institute | Lamberg H.,University of Eastern Finland | Myllari F.,Tampere University of Technology | And 16 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2014

Particle emissions affect radiative forcing in the atmosphere. Therefore, it is essential to know the physical and chemical characteristics of them. This work studied the chemical, physical, and optical characteristics of particle emissions from small-scale wood combustion, coal combustion of a heating and power plant, as well as heavy and light fuel oil combustion at a district heating station. Fine particle (PM1) emissions were the highest in wood combustion with a high fraction of absorbing material. The emissions were lowest from coal combustion mostly because of efficient cleaning techniques used at the power plant. The chemical composition of aerosols from coal and oil combustion included mostly ions and trace elements with a rather low fraction of absorbing material. The single scattering albedo and aerosol forcing efficiency showed that primary particles emitted from wood combustion and some cases of oil combustion would have a clear climate warming effect even over dark earth surfaces. Instead, coal combustion particle emissions had a cooling effect. Secondary processes in the atmosphere will further change the radiative properties of these emissions but are not considered in this study. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

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