12:00 AM, November 16, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 16, 2012

Downside of coal-fired power plant

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Professor M Zahidul Haque, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhak


Coal is a fossil constituted basically of carbon plus elements like hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur. Coal is the world's largest source of energy for the generation of electricity. But it is also one of the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2), a green house gas. There are more than 2300 coal-fired power plants in the world of which nearly 620 plants are stationed in China. A coal-fired electric power generation plant emits around 2000 pounds of CO2 for every megawatt-hour generated. This pollutes the environment. Coal-fired power plant releases a lot of mercury and other harmful chemicals into the air which can seriously affect human health particularly of children.
Bangladesh government is planning to switch to coal-fired power generation system. Currently more than 80% of the power generated in the country is from natural gas. Only a small percentage of power is being generated from coal.
In my opinion, before switching on to coal-fired power generation system, we should carefully consider the various health and environmental problems associated with the coal-fired power plants.

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