China Daily Life - Pollution

Many of China’s coal-fired power plants are equipped with air pollution scrubbers, but in some parts of the country they are seldom used. Scrubbers take energy to run which reduces total output and makes operating the equipment more expensive. The government often sends plant operators mixed messages that prioritize economic growth (which requires maximum power output) and air pollution reduction. The future of Chinese coal use is critical to combatting global climate change, but the direction China will take remains uncertain. [Scientific American]

The pursuit of sustainable solutions is boosted when waste streams can be turned into value-added products and a technology that processes food waste sludge into clean energy recently won a global chemical engineering award. “Green energy alternatives such as wind power and solar power get most of the headlines for their achievements, but this anaerobic process is even more suited to industry in many instances, given that it provides reliable base load power and simultaneously treats wastewater to high discharge standards,” Ombregt said.” [Water and Wastes Digest]

International oil price benchmark grades Brent and WTI for January delivery headed lower in Monday trading, with WTI dipping below $65 per barrel in the morning. “The near-term risk is for additional long-liquidation,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, said by e-mail. “The belief is spreading that we could hit $60 or even lower before this stabilizes.” [Bloomberg]