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    Evaluation of costs associated with atmospheric mercury emission reductions from coal combustion in China in 2010 and projections for 20202018

    CHEN L., LI J., WANG X., YANG T., YE X., ZHANG W., ZHANG Y.Journaux et Revues (scientifiques)

    coûts / mesures de réduction, mercure, pollution

    Science of The Total Environment
    Volumes 610–611, 1 January 2018, Pages 796–801

    • Mercury abatement costs for coal combustion in China for 2010 were estimated.
    • Four scenarios were used to project mercury abatement costs for 2020.
    • Decrease in unit abatement costs in 2020 suggests viable of various scenarios.

    Coal combustion is the most significant anthropogenic mercury emission source in China. In 2013, China signed the Minamata Convention affirming that mercury emissions should be controlled more strictly. Therefore, an evaluation of the costs associated with atmospheric mercury emission reductions from China's coal combustion is essential. In this study, we estimated mercury abatement costs for coal combustion in China for 2010, based on a provincial technology-based mercury emission inventory. In addition, four scenarios were used to project abatement costs for 2020. Our results indicate that actual mercury emission related to coal combustion in 2010 was 300.8 Mg, indicating a reduction amount of 174.7 Mg. Under a policy-controlled scenario for 2020, approximately 49% of this mercury could be removed using air pollution control devices, making mercury emissions in 2020 equal to or lower than in 2010. The total abatement cost associated with mercury emissions in 2010 was 50.2 × 109 RMB. In contrast, the total abatement costs for 2020 under baseline versus policy-controlled scenarios, having high-energy and low-energy consumption, would be 32.0 × 109 versus 51.2 × 109, and 27.4 × 109 versus 43.9 × 109 RMB, respectively. The main expense is associated with flue gas desulfurization. The unit abatement cost of mercury emissions in 2010 was 288 × 103 RMB/(kg Hg). The unit abatement costs projected for 2020 under a baseline, a policy-controlled, and an United Nations Environmental Programme scenario would be 143 × 103, 172 × 103 and 1066 × 103 RMB/(kg Hg), respectively. These results are much lower than other international ones. However, the relative costs to China in terms of GPD are higher than in most developed countries. We calculated that abatement costs related to mercury emissions accounted for about 0.14% of the GDP of China in 2010, but would be between 0.03% and 0.06% in 2020. This decrease in abatement costs in terms of GDP suggests that various policy-controlled scenarios would be viable.

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