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    Author(s): William E. Wilson
    Date: 1976
    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: View PDF  (48.59 KB)

    Description

    Numerous 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.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Wilson, 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

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