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Ultrafine dust has a big impact on the environment

By Paul Grad |

An international study has found that coal-fired power stations emit more ultrafine dust particles than road traffic and that those dust particles can modify rainfall patterns and can, in general, have considerable impact on the climate. The study found that filtration systems of exhaust gas on modern coal-fired power stations are the main source of ultrafine particles. Ammonia is added to the exhaust gases to convert oxides of nitrogen into water and nitrogen. However, ammonia is available at the right mixing ratio for particle formation. The study was led by professor Wolfgang Junkermann from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany; www.kit.edu) and professor Jorg Hacker from Airborne Research Australia (Adelaide; www.airborneresearch.org.au) — a part of Flinders University (Adelaide; www.flinders.edu.au). The study’s key findings are: Modern coal-fired power stations emit more ultrafine particles than urban road traffic; ultrafine particles can harm human health; ultrafine particles can affect rainfall distribution by increasing the condensation nuclei count; ultrafine particles can be transported in layers with high concentrations for hundreds of kilometers and then lead to localized particle events. The study also…
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