Skip to Main Content
Sulfur balance in power plant plumes: a critical reviewAuthor(s): William E. Wilson
Source: In: Dochinger, L. S.; Seliga, T. A., eds. Proceedings of the first international symposium on acid precipitation and the forest ecosystem; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-23. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. p.133
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (48.59 KB)
DescriptionNumerous attempts have been made to measure the rate of loss of SO2 in power plant plumes. If SO2 decreases more rapidly than an inert pollutant, the control measures necessary to meet SO2 standards would be eased. More recently, Swedish studies of acid rain, thought to be due to long range transport of sulfuric acid, and U.S. correlations of sulfate loading with health effects, have led to efforts to determine sulfate formation and transport. However, most of the efforts to date indicate very little SO2 conversion and do not support a significant role for power plant SO2 in the production of acid precipitation. Careful analysis of these studies, in light of present day knowledge, indicates that they all have serious flaws which render their results useless. An "ideal" plume experiment will be described and the scientific tools, both experimental and theoretical, which are required for the job will be defined. EPA programs to provide these tools will be discussed. The tools include: improved analytical techniques for SO2, particulate sulfate and particulate mass, aerosol size distribution from which aerosol volume can be calculated, light scattering, microscopic techniques for analysis of airborne particles, dry deposition measurements for SO2, and development of models to be used in data analysis including meteorological models, homogeneous chemical kinetic models, and heterogeneous chemical kinetic models. A new EPA study of sulfur balance in power plant plumes, project MISTT, Midwest Interstate Sulfur Transport and Transformation, performed by an interdisciplinary group of contractors and university grantees will be described. Preliminary results from this program will be discussed. These results will be interpreted in an explanation of how tall stacks, by increasing the time available for SO2 to be converted to sulfate before SO2 is removed by dry deposition, increase sulfate formation, long range transport and acid precipitation.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationWilson, William E. 1976. Sulfur balance in power plant plumes: a critical review. In: Dochinger, L. S.; Seliga, T. A., eds. Proceedings of the first international symposium on acid precipitation and the forest ecosystem; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-23. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. p.133
- An evaluation of possible mechanisms for conversion of sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid and sulfate aerosols in the troposphere
- Wildland fire emissions, carbon, and climate: Plume rise, atmospheric transport, and chemistry processes
- Some considerations on the washout of sulfate from stack plumes
XML: View XML