Raj Fadadu

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Trace Metal Analysis of Lignite Coal From Kosovo and Air Pollution-related Risk
Department:
Public Health
Term:
Spring 2017

Coal-fired power plants account for nearly 40% of electricity production worldwide.  However unfortunately, they also are leading anthropogenic emitters of several greenhouse gases and chemicals that pose serious public health threats, especially through promoting poor respiratory and cardiovascular health outcomes.  Kosovo, a country on the verge of a suite of new electricity supply-side investments, relies almost exclusively on lignite coal, which has the lowest quality and calorific value of all coal types, for more than 98% of its electricity generation.  We seek to characterize the extent to which lignite coal poses risks for human health in Kosovo from chemical emissions with the continuation of using coal-fired power plants for electricity generation and how different electricity generation scenarios can mitigate harmful public health impacts of the existing use of coal for energy production.  To do so, we will analyze inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy results from coal analytes to ascertain heavy metal concentrations in precombusted coal and formulate dose-response curves, population impact models, and different electricity generation scenarios with cleaner forms of fuel.  The project will generate knowledge for developing a modeling framework that will interface with multi-lateral development banks that often finance coal projects but do not incorporate public health risk assessments into their analyses in order to inform international key stakeholders of the issue.