Vattenfall has been working for many years on reducing its emissions to air, for example of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and airborne particulates by installing state-of-the-art flue gas cleaning equipment as well as to water and soil by prevention measures, the operation of developed water treatments and the implementation of emergency plans. To meet the society's expectations and the legal provision needs continuous optimisation and development of the applied techniques.
Emissions connected to our activities
Our main emissions besides CO2 are sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and dust resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels and biomass in power plants. The construction, operation and dismantling of our power plants and networks is connected with dust and noise emissions. The use of water in different processes and the discharge of rain water lead to minor emissions of pollutants into water. Not foreseeable accidents can lead to emissions into soil or water.
Reducing our emissions
Our efforts to reduce our emissions to a minimum are very comprehensive and diverse:
- We contribute to the improvement of air quality by primary measures like targeted mix of coal quality or combustion controlling (NOx, CO) as well as secondary flue gas cleaning measures like electrostatic precipitators or filter bags (dust), flue gas desulphurisation (SO2) and DENOX (NOx).
- Noise protection walls and facades or capsulation of devices mitigate noise from our operations.
- To protect soil and waters the parts of our operations containing chemicals and oil are specially constructed (e.g. double walled, leakage detection, oil separators) and the personnel is respectively trained in handling these substances.
Examples of achievements
- Already now nearly all coal power plants in Germany meet the national mercury emission limits valid from 2019.
- By optimisation of the technology the Swedish thermal power plants reached an all-time-low in NOx per produced MWh.