Flue gas is produced when fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas, or wood are burned for heat or power. It may contain an assortment of pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, particulates, sulfur dioxide, mercury, and carbon dioxide, although most of the gas consists of nitrogen. Flue gas from power plants, industrial facilities, and other sources can, if left untreated, substantially affect local and regional air quality.

Under clean air regulations, power plants and other facilities are required to use flue gas treatments to reduce the amount of pollutants that are emitted. Such approaches, which use devices such as electrostatic precipitators and scrubbers, can successfully remove 90 percent or more of certain pollutants. However, they can be very costly to install and operate, and requirements for flue ...

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