K. Stecula, M. Tutak
Thursday 11 October 2018 by Libadmin2018


One of the most important issues of the global economy including the European one is the problem of environmental pollution from the by-products of industrial activity. The development of energy, metallurgy, electro-machine and other industries makes the environment more and more contaminated and degraded. This process covers virtually all spheres of the natural environment which are the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. The contamination of the atmosphere is particularly dangerous because it adversely affects the entire ecosystem. In Poland, the main cause of this contamination is the combustion of hydrocarbons. Technically, all of the country’s energy is based on traditional raw materials which are hard coal and lignite but also crude oil. In particular, the combustion of hard coal has a very negative impact on the natural environment. As a result, the products of coal combustion are released into the atmosphere in the form of hydrocarbons, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon oxides and solid particles such as ash and soot (so-called furnace waste). It is worth noting that the emission of these pollutants is one of the basic reasons for taking actions to reduce coal mining and limit its use in energy (mainly thermal energy). The combustion of coal in households and small heating plants is particularly dangerous. It causes the release of very dangerous volatile substances (defined as PM2,5 and PM10 dust) into the atmosphere. The result of this process is the so-called "low-stack emission" which has a very negative impact on the entire mining industry. In a general point of view, it is the coal combustion that is the main cause of this emission. This belief builds very negative opinions about coal. In order to improve this opinion and explain the essence of low-stack emission, the authors present an analysis of the state of dust pollution (PM2,5 and PM10) in particular voivodships in Poland. Moreover, the share of the economy sectors in this pollution was evaluated. The analysis was related to the existing national and European standards. For the selected regions, mainly urban agglomerations, the results of dust pollution measurements were also presented. These results show the essence of this problem. At the same time, they should be used to make the public aware of the dangers of the phenomenon we are dealing with. The paper also presents the concept of reducing the hazard of low-stack emission, especially in the field of coal combustion. These activities are very important for the mining industry. Its future depends on the effective and ecological use of this raw material. Reducing the emission of harmful dusts and gases may enable further existence and development of mining in Poland and perhaps also in Europe.

Keywords: mining, low-stack emission, suspended dust, environment protection.

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