Air Quality Monitoring And Management For The Industrialized Highveld Region Of South Africa
Free (open access)
217 - 224
G. V. Mkhatshwa
The rapid economic growth in developing countries has led to increases in energy consumption patterns and industrial activity leading to air quality degradation. Due to the rapid industrial expansion in South Africa, there has been a great demand for increased electrical generation. About 89% of electricity generated in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is from coal, mostly produced in South Africa. Eskom generates 95% of the electricity used in South Africa and has undertaken extensive air quality monitoring on a regional basis since the 1970s. The aim of the monitoring is to assist Eskom in the assessment of environmental impacts related to its activities and to facilitate appropriate control strategies. The South African Highveld is impacted by emissions from motor vehicles, heavy and light industry, power stations, coal mining and numerous large townships and informal settlements. This paper presents air quality monitoring and management trends adopted by Eskom for the past 20 years over the Highveld region of South Africa and how these have changed with time. An overview of air quality monitoring methods is presented and ambient air quality trends over a minimum of a 10-year period at specific monitoring stations are discussed. Generally ambient concentrations of pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particulate matter (FPM) have been decreasing with time in the Highveld region. This can be attributed mainly to control strategies adopted by Eskom and to the electrification of households. Keywords: Eskom, electricity, power stations, Highveld, air quality, monitoring, Elandsfontein, Palmer, Leandra, pollutants.
Eskom, electricity, power stations, Highveld, air quality, monitoring, Elandsfontein, Palmer, Leandra, pollutants.