Reducing Mercury Emissions from Coal Combustion in the Energy Sector in Vietnam

United Nations Environment Programme (2017-01)

Emissions of mercury (Hg) from thermal power stations are a subject of increasing concern because of their toxicity, volatility, persistence, and longrange transport in the atmosphere. Hg has the tendency for bioaccumulation as methyl Hg and thus enters the food chain. Once released into the environment, Hg contaminates soil, air, surface and ground water. Hg is a neurotoxin and causes adverse health effects. Hg is a global pollutant that is emitted, deposited, and reemitted on both a local and global scale in both terrestrial and marine environments. Toxic Hg emitted from coal-fired power plants originates from the Hg present in coal. Burning of large quantity of coal for power generation makes it the second largest anthropogenic source of Hg emissions at a global level. The Pollution Control Department (PCD) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have entered into a Small-Scale Funding Agreement to undertake a project titled “Reducing Mercury Emissions from Coal Combustion in the Energy Sector in Vietnam”. In accordance with UN Environment Governing Council priorities, identified in Decisions 24/3 and 25/5, and with the goal of reducing Hg emissions from the coal partnership area under the UN Environment Global Mercury Partnership, the project aims to present national information on: coal types and coal usage; characterize coal-fired power sector in Vietnam; develop an emission inventory for the coal fired energy sector; and present other relevant information to improve accuracy of future emission inventories for the sector.

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