Burning wood with coal to comply with EPA emissions rules

An article in the New York Times titled “Power plants try burning wood with coal to cut carbon emissions” (November 4, 2013), describes the use of sawdust and wood chunks along with coal to reduce carbon emissions in US power plants. While wood continues to create emissions, forests that are grown to compensate for the wood harvested remove carbon dioxide which nets out the emissions. Thus, burning wood with coal enables power plants to reduce their emissions. But the inconsistent as well as low availability of wood diminishes the economics of such options. These options are less effective for older plants, which may benefit from being replaced by gas fired alternatives, but may be more suitable to younger plants. Should power plants be permitted to net out the emissions of burning wood with reductions in carbon dioxide from new forest growth ? Should mixed burning be encouraged or discouraged, given the need to reduce emissions altogether ? How should plant operating costs be balanced against environmental impact ?

About aviyer2010

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