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The Geological Availability and Emissions of Sulfur and SO2 from the Typical Coal of China

Category: Air Pollution and Health Effects

Volume: 19 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 559-570
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.08.0281

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Rahib Hussain1,2, Kunli Luo 1

  • 1 Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resource Research, Beijing 100101, China
  • 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 10080, China


The study emphasized the sulfur contents in different typical coals of China.
Historic and projected emission inventory of sulfur dioxide from China.
Spatial distribution of sulfur and SO2 by China to the atmosphere.
Coal consumption and their association with sulfur, SO2 and coal waste debris.


This study aimed to assess the natural availability of sulfur and SO2 in coal typical of the Jurassic, Permo-Carboniferous, and Cambrian strata in Shaanxi, China, and their emission rates. A total of 93 samples (39 Binxian Jurassic, 37 Permo-Carboniferous, and 17 Langao Cambrian) were collected and analyzed via the Eschka method (GB/T 214-1996). The results show that the average sulfur content was 2.40%, 2.85%, and 0.92% in the Binxian coal gangue, raw coal, and coal slime, respectively; 1.48%, 2.41%, and 1.5% in the Hancheng Permo-Carboniferous coal gangue, raw coal, and coal slime, respectively; and 0.84% and 2.44% in the Langao Cambrian stone-like coal and black shale rock, respectively. The annual sulfur emissions from the Binxian urban and rural areas totaled 1.5 kt and 9.3 kt (Kilotons), respectively, which contributed 1.4% of the overall SO2 emitted into the atmosphere. The sulfur emissions from Hancheng urban and rural areas totaled 1.8 kt and 11.9 kt, respectively, which contributed 1.8% of the overall SO2. The sulfur emissions from Langao urban and rural areas was 0.4 kt and 2.8 kt, respectively, which contributed 0.43% of the overall SO2. Coal-waste consumption from 1991 to 2015 increased by 23% and 10% in urban and rural areas, respectively, in China, ultimately reducing the debris from coal waste. Raw-coal consumption from 1991 to 2015 decreased from 96% to 73% and from 97% to 87% in urban and rural areas, respectively. SO2 emissions since 2006 have decreased due to effective desulfurizing technology. According to the results of this study, China has been continuously reducing the emission of SO2 by adopting a green economy. The study recommends installing desulfurizing equipment in power plants to further reduce the SO2 emissions.


Cambrian Coal Jurassic Shaanxi Sulfur SO2

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