Lesson outline Heat engines and environmental protection

The principle of operation of thermal power plants (TPP) is to burn fuel in the furnaces of steam boilers, where the thermal energy of steam is generated. Through a steam turbine, steam energy is converted into mechanical energy, which is converted into electricity in a turbine generator. About 90% of all electricity is generated by thermal power plants. But in terms of the degree of impact on the environment, thermal power engineering is also in the first place. In this regard, the urgency of reducing the negative impact of thermal power plants on the environment is beyond doubt.

  • The main environmental problems of thermal power plants Harmful emissions into the atmosphere
  • Ozone depletion
  • Acid rain
  • Waste water
  • Thermal pollution
  • Waste-related problems
  • Other pollution
  • Environmental consequences of TPP operation <

    Consequences of living near the CHP

    In modern society, there is an acute shortage of electrical energy, for the production of which thermal power plants are intended. But it must be borne in mind that such structures are not the best neighborhood for people in terms of health.

    According to the current state sanitary norms and rules, these objects are ranked as the second hazard class (high degree). Many people mistakenly believe that thermal power plants emit only steam, so living near such complexes is absolutely harmless. This opinion is wrong.

    The process of energy generation is accompanied by the release of the following gases and substances into the environment that are hazardous to human health:

    • carbon dioxide - creating a greenhouse effect and reducing the oxygen content in the air;
    • carbon monoxide - a common cause of death in fires;
    • sulfur oxide - irritating the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract and causing the danger of respiratory diseases;
    • benzopyrene - a strong carcinogen that causes the development of oncological diseases;
    • nitric oxide - a toxin that inhibits breathing.

    In addition to gaseous emissions, harmful substances are discharged into water bodies in liquid form, during which sufficient measures are not always taken to clean up the discharges.

    Solid particles of the following components also get into the air:

    • coal dust,
    • soot,
    • ash compounds.

    Consider whether it is harmful to live next to a thermal power plant, the ways with which you can protect yourself and the minimum permissible distance that guarantees safety.

    What is the use of a heat engine

    Influence of heat engines The negative impact of heat engines on the environment is associated with the action of various factors.

    Firstly, when fuel is burned, oxygen from the atmosphere is used, as a result of which the oxygen content in the air gradually decreases.

    Secondly, fuel combustion is accompanied by the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

    Thirdly, when coal and oil are burned, the atmosphere is polluted with nitrogen and sulfur compounds harmful to human health. And automobile engines emit two to three tons of lead into the atmosphere every year.

    Emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere are not the only side of the impact of energy on nature. According to the laws of thermodynamics, the production of electrical and mechanical energy, in principle, cannot be carried out without the removal of significant amounts of heat into the environment. This cannot but lead to a gradual rise in the average temperature on earth, called "thermal pollution". This effect is amplified by the fact that when a huge amount of fuel is burned, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere increases. And with a high concentration of carbon dioxide, the atmosphere poorly transmits thermal radiation from the Earth's surface heated by the Sun, which leads to the "greenhouse effect". As a result of the described processes, the average temperature on Earth has been steadily increasing over the past decades. This threatens global warming with undesirable consequences, which include melting glaciers and rising sea levels.

    A serious problem facing humanity is the "environmental crisis". The enormous scale of energy conversion has already begun to have a "planetary" effect on the Earth's climate and atmospheric composition.

    In addition, when fuel is burned in heat engines, atmospheric oxygen is consumed (in the most developed countries, heat engines already consume more oxygen than is produced by all plants growing in these countries) and many harmful substances that pollute the atmosphere are formed ...

    Heat engines not only burn oxygen, but also emit equivalent amounts of carbon monoxide (carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere. The combustion of fuel in the furnaces of industrial enterprises and thermal power plants is almost never complete, therefore, air pollution with ash and soot flakes occurs. All over the world, conventional power plants annually emit more than 200 million tons of ash and more than 60 million tons of sulfur oxide into the atmosphere.

    Toxic emissions of internal combustion engines (ICE) are exhaust and blow-by gases, fuel vapors from the carburetor and fuel tank. The main share of toxic impurities enters the atmosphere with the exhaust gases of the internal combustion engine. With crankcase gases and fuel vapors, approximately 45% of hydrocarbons from their total emissions are released into the atmosphere.

    In addition to industry, the air is also polluted by various types of transport, primarily automobiles. Residents of large cities suffocate from the exhaust gases of automobile engines.

    Heat engines are widely used in production and in everyday life. Powerful diesel locomotives drive trains along railways, motor ships drive along waterways. Millions of vehicles with combustion engines carry cargo and passengers. Airplanes and helicopters are equipped with piston, turboprop and turbojet engines. With the help of rocket engines, artificial satellites, spacecraft and stations are launched. Internal combustion engines are the basis for the mechanization of production processes in agriculture. They are installed on tractors, combines, self-propelled chassis, pumping stations.

    Causes of air pollution by exhaust gases from vehicles

    Many technologies underlying alternative energy have been known for more than one decade. For example, peat power plants and mini-hydroelectric power plants were used 100 years ago. The world's first wind turbine to generate electricity was built in 1887 in Great Britain. But, starting from the 50s of the XX century, individual power plants around the world began to unite into powerful power systems with single control centers, covering several regions or an entire country at once. The level of technological development in those years did not allow managing a large number of small power plants, so for many years gigantic mania prevailed in the energy sector.

    But in the mid-2000s, the situation suddenly changed, and politicians of the first rank were involved in promoting alternative energy. In 2006, a documentary film "An Inconvenient Truth" was released, created with the direct participation of former US Vice President Al Gore. This film talked about the problem of global warming and the need to limit carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. In 2007 the film won two Oscars. Also in 2007, Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize as part of a group of activists fighting against global warming.

    Alternative energy is a set of methods for obtaining, transferring and using energy, based on modern technologies and different from those most widely used at a given time. As a rule, alternative energy is based on renewable energy sources (RES), for example: wind, sun, moving water flow. It is also customary to refer to renewable energy sources associated with waste disposal (biogas, wood chips, husks from grains). The generation of electricity from waste processing inevitably leads to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but this is a lesser evil compared to throwing the same waste into a landfill. An example of non-renewable alternative energy is peat-fired power plants. By the way, even 100 years ago, peat was the basis of energy, now they are returning to it on a new technological basis.

    Naturally, such things are not done just like that. The world was on the verge of a global economic crisis, and alternative energy is contributing to the creation of new jobs in the countries of the “golden billion”. As a result, governments around the world, including in Russia, began to actively support alternative energy.

    More than 50% of electricity consumed in Denmark is generated by wind turbines

    Denmark is the country of winning wind power

    As of 2021, Denmark covers approximately 50% of its electricity needs from wind farms. The first industrial wind turbine was installed there in 1976. It is important that the equipment for wind generation is developed and manufactured in Denmark. The export of such equipment is an important source of income.

    There are at least two common misconceptions about how Denmark has achieved such results in the wind energy sector.

    The first myth is that Denmark does not have its own oil and gas, so we decided to move away from energy dependence. In fact, Denmark has large offshore oil and gas fields that are actively used (oil production in 2021 amounted to 140.1 thousand barrels per day, which is almost 2 times more than in Romania, which is traditionally considered an oil-producing country) while Denmark even exports hydrocarbons.

    The second myth is that the development of wind power generation is due to the highest electricity tariffs in Europe (and according to some sources, even in the world). Indeed, retail consumers in Denmark pay, in terms of our money (at the rate of 2021), on average 23 rubles. for 1 kWh of electricity. But this does not make wind energy in itself super-profitable. Denmark is the country with the lowest social stratification in the world. This is achieved at the expense of high taxes, as a result of which the country has high prices for everything, including electricity. Most of the tariff structure is occupied by taxes, and the profitability of generation is not higher than in other European countries.

    Therefore, even with the highest tariff in Europe, wind energy in Denmark was subsidized by the state until 2021. The amount of subsidies was 3.5 euro cents per 1 kWh. They were paid for the first 22 thousand hours of operation of a wind turbine installed on land, or the first 50 thousand hours of operation of a wind turbine installed at sea. Time limitation of subsidies stimulated investment in the construction of new wind turbines.

    As a result, multicomponent impurities consisting of tens of thousands of substances are thrown into the air. Some don't even lend themselves to identification.

    Do you find it hard to breathe in the city?

    Composition of anthropogenic pollution

    The natural environment is intensively polluted against the background of the development of the chemical industry. Chemical elements that previously did not exist in nature enter the atmosphere.

    Of all man-made pollutants, carbon monoxide is the largest. They are emitted as a result of the activity of thermal power plants, traffic. Other elements entering the atmosphere - nitrogen, sulfur, chlorine:

    • Carbon. If we compare with natural sources, then the share of anthropogenic sources is no more than 2%. But these additional concentrations of carbon turn out to be excessive, and the plants of the planet are unable to bind them.
    • Nitrogen. Formed after fuel combustion. During combustion, nitrogen is released, its concentration is directly proportional to the temperature of the flame. It then binds to oxygen and falls as acid rain, affecting the balance in the ecosystem.
    • Sulfur. Some fuels contain sulfur. When burning, the released sulfur combines with precipitation. The combination of nitric and sulfuric acids leads to the precipitation of aggressive "acid rain" with a pH of 2.0.
    • Chlorine. Under natural conditions, it occurs as an impurity in volcanic gases. Pure chlorine is used in the chemical industry. Refers to especially poisonous compounds. It has a higher density than air, in case of accidents it "spreads" in the lowlands of the relief.

    The danger of anthropogenic infection is the possibility of components to mutually reinforce negative effects. Therefore, residents of large cities run the risk of inhaling a "cocktail" with an unknown composition of harmful substances, which will provoke serious somatic diseases.

    Situation in the regions

    The Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation has studied the consequences of air pollution in the regions. The most unfavorable situation developed in Krasnoyarsk, Norilsk and Blagoveshchensk. The highest indicators of industrial air pollution are demonstrated by:

    • Krasnoyarsk Territory.
    • Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.
    • Kemerovo region.
    • Sverdlovsk region.

    Here, about 75% of the population lives in conditions of technogenic air pollution. The situation is not much better in the Khabarovsk Territory, Buryatia and the Taimyr Autonomous Okrug. Air pollution statistics by county:

    In Krasnoyarsk, Bratsk, Novokuznetsk, Magnitogorsk, Nizhny Tagil, Chelyabinsk and Lipetsk, air pollution with ammonia reaches 15 mg / m3. The indicator leads to an increase in the number of patients with lung cancer.

    What are heat engines for us

    Every day we deal with engines that power cars, ships, industrial equipment, railway locomotives and airplanes. It was the appearance and widespread use of heat engines that quickly propelled the industry forward.

    The ecological problem of using heat engines is that thermal energy emissions inevitably lead to heating of the surrounding objects, including the atmosphere. Scientists have long been struggling with the problem of melting glaciers and raising the level of the World Ocean, considering human activities to be the main factor of influence. Changes in nature will lead to a change in the conditions of our life, but despite this, energy consumption is increasing every year.

    Where are heat engines used

    Millions of vehicles powered by internal combustion engines carry passengers and goods. Powerful diesel locomotives go by railways, motor ships go along water routes. Airplanes and helicopters are equipped with piston, turbojet and turboprop engines. Rocket engines "push" stations, ships and earth satellites into outer space. Internal combustion engines in agriculture are installed on combines, pumping stations, tractors and other objects.

    What is a heat engine

    We are talking about engines and simplified mechanisms that use thermal energy to drive cars, trains, ships, aircraft, and production equipment. Once upon a time, the discovery of such a mechanism gave a powerful impetus to the development of industry.

    A person encounters heat engines every day. In fact, even a refrigerator is a heating unit. But unlike more powerful mechanisms that use heat, the refrigerator does not emit hazardous substances into the atmosphere.

    A large number of vehicles powered by internal combustion engines belong to the category of heat engines. Turbojet engines propel airplanes and helicopters. Space ships and satellites of the planet are powered by rocket engines. Agricultural machinery is also equipped with heat engines.

    Environmental problem of using heat engines

    Human-used machines, heat engines, automobile production, the use of gas turbine propulsion systems, aviation and launch vehicles, water pollution by ships - all of this has a catastrophic effect on the environment.

    Firstly, when coal and oil are burned, nitrogen and sulfur compounds are released into the atmosphere, which are destructive to humans. Secondly, the processes use atmospheric oxygen, the content of which in the air decreases because of this.

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