The coal-based thermal power industry is responsible for a significant share of emissions for the country’s industrial sector. Combustion of coal converts the nitrogen bound in coal to form products such as nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O). These products are collectively called oxides of nitrogen (NOx)—a major pollutant. NOx is responsible for both smog and acid rain and is a major contributor to the formation of secondary particulate matter (PM) and ground-level ozone, both of which have adverse health impacts.
This factsheet is intended to deconstruct myths surrounding oxides of nitrogen emissions and technologies for their control in thermal power stations. The factsheet outlines the factors leading to the formation of oxides of nitrogen and control technologies used to achieve the environmental norms in a feasible manner.