Reducing Particulates and Gaseous Emissions through Fuel Switching from Coal to Wood Pellets at Power Plants in South Korea during 2005 to 2022


  • Seung-Rok Lee Graduate School of Energy and Environment (KU-KIST GREEN SCHOOL), Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seungbuk-gu, Seoul, 02841, Republic of Korea
  • Sae Byul Kang Energy Convergence System Research Department, Korea Institute of Energy Research, 152 Gajeong-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34129, Republic of Korea
  • Gyu-Seong Han College of Agriculture, Life and Environments Sciences, Chungbuk National University, 1 Chungdae-ro, Seowon-gu, Cheongju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do 28644 Republic of Korea


Climate crisis, Wood pellet, Forest biomass, Bioenergy, Energy transition, Fuel combustion, Fuel switching, Particles emissions, Gaseous emissions


This study analyzed the particulates and gaseous emissions from 2005 to 2022 for power plants in South Korea (Utility scale: 125 MW (B-1) and 200 MW (B-2), respectively), which recently successfully converted from coal to wood pellets. The analysis showed that (1) NOx reduction was 78.9 to 90.0% (with outlet denitrification facility), (2) SOx reduction was 95.0 to 99.6% (without desulfurization facility condition), and (3) total suspended particles (TSP) reduction was 70.3 to 87.2% (with improved filtration and dust collection facility). This research confirmed the capabilities of wood pellets as a baseload power source and demonstrated their superior NOx reduction compared to coal. In the case of SOx, the desulfurization facility was discontinued at the stage of the fuel switch, so the value was affected by exogenous variable factors other than fuel. The TSP appears to be a combination of the ‘fine dust' contained in the wood pellets and the performance of the filtration dust collector. The results suggest that fuel switching to wood pellets is a viable alternative to fossil fuels as an appropriate climate technology.



2023-10-26 — Updated on 2023-10-27



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