People, Environment

A Window Opens for Efficient Power Generation

A Window Opens for Efficient Power Generation    A Window Opens for Efficient Power Generation

Following the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran by the EU and US at the weekend, the country will be able to import catalytic converters for power plants, which will help reduce the contribution of these plants to air pollution by a whopping 90%, according to a prominent environmental expert.

Esmaeil Kahrom, an ecologist and senior advisor to the head of the Department of Environment, Massoumeh Ebtekar, said, “Due to the sanctions, we were unable to import most of the equipment we needed to reduce toxic emissions from power plants and factories.”

He told Fars News Agency Sunday that the mazut-fueled Shahid Salimi power plant in Mazandaran Province — located dangerously close to the Miankaleh Biosphere Reserve — poses a threat to the environment and said there are numerous other plants that use mazut to generate power.

Mazut is a heavy, low quality fuel oil that is commonly used in power plants and emits large quantities of pollutant into the air.

However, with the lifting of the international economic restrictions, Iran can now purchase essential parts and equipment needed to mitigate the impact of power plants on air quality, such as catalytic converters.

A catalytic converter is an emissions control device that converts toxic pollutants in exhaust gas to less toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction.

Sanctions against Iran were finally lifted late Saturday as a result of Tehran’s fulfillment of its obligations outlined in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — the official name of the landmark nuclear deal signed in July 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).

“Once the filters are installed in steam units, they will trap particulate matter and help reduce air pollution.”

Kahrom stressed that the use of mazut in power plants has an undeniable impact on the environment and can cause irreparable damage.

“So, after discussing the matter with provincial DOE officials about the use of mazut, they agreed to gradually move away from mazut in favor of natural gas — a much cleaner alternative,” he said.

Currently, one of Shahid Salimi power plant’s four steam units runs on natural gas.

Reducing the consumption of heavy and highly-polluting fuels in power plants and industrial unites to zero is a declared policy of the DOE.

Mazut production in domestic refineries is expected to be cut by more than 90% by 2025.