Sulphur and coal
All coal contains sulphur, though the amount varies significantly.
The U.S. coal company, Foundation Coal, stated in its 2008 annual report that "sulfur content can vary from seam to seam and sometimes within each seam. When coal is burned, it produces sulfur dioxide, the amount of which varies depending on the chemical composition and the concentration of sulfur in the coal. Compliance coal is coal which, when burned, emits 1.2 pounds or less of sulfur dioxide per million Btus and complies with the requirements of the Clean Air Act."
"Low sulfur coal is coal which, when burned, emits 1.6 pounds or less of sulfur dioxide per million Btus. Most of our sub-bituminous coal typically has a lower sulfur content than bituminous coal, but some of our bituminous coal in West Virginia also has a low sulfur content. High sulfur coal can be burned in plants equipped with sulfur-reduction technology, such as scrubbers, which can reduce sulfur dioxide emissions. Plants without scrubbers can burn high sulfur coal by blending it with lower sulfur coal, or by purchasing emission allowances on the open market, which permit the user to emit a ton of sulfur dioxide per allowance. Additional scrubbing will provide new market opportunities for our noncompliance coals. All new coal-fired generation plants built in the United States are expected to use some type of clean coal-burning technology."
Articles and Resources
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- Foundation Coal Holdings, "2008 Annual Report", Foundation Coal, page 28.
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