Current issue: 56(4)
Under compilation: 57(1)
A method to determine sulphur as sulphate has been applied to search for surface concentration of sulphate sulphur on needle samples. The method is based on reducing sulphates as volatile hydrogen sulphide gas by using hydriodic acid. The hydrogen sulphide gas is swept with nitrogen into an absorbent solution. Sulphide ion concentration in solution is then measured using ion selective electrodes.
The method was applied on one to four years old needle samples collected from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) at 0.9 to 15.9 km distances from a 1,064 MW coal-fired power plant in Southern Finland. Surface sulphate values found in the samples closer than 4 km to the power plant were 50 to 100% higher than a nearly constant background level. No significant variation of values with needle age was found. The advantages of the method compares to other methods for sulphur determination are speed, reasonable sensitivity and low detection limit.
Increased prices on oil have resulted in the search for alternative energy sources, e.g. coal, peat, biomass, different types of waste. Combustion especially of waste, coal and peat emits large quantities of air pollutants such as heavy metals but also harmful organic substances. Heavy metals are not easily separated from the smoke, and the concentrations are often high in the emissions even with advanced fly-ash separators.
Ecological investigations carried out around a coal burning power plant in Finland using mosses and pine needles as parameters are presented in the paper. Increased concentrations of Pb, Cd, Cr, Ni, Cu and V have been found near the plant. Often a clear gradient was found with increased concentrations at decreased distance from the power plant.
Hydroelectric plants are being planned or already built in Northern Finland. The complete terracing and regulation of watercourses necessary for the power plants will mean great changes in floating conditions and hence for forestry, for which floating is the principal means of transport. Consequently, the Cabinet appointed a committee in 1958 to ascertain the economic, technical and legislative questions connected with timber transport in the area.
The committee has found that about half of the country’s forest area and two thirds of its water power resources are situated in Northern Finland. A prerequisite for the wise utilization of the forest in Northern Finland is an increase in fellings. This can only be put into effect by improving the means of transport, especially the floating channels. The financing required by the organization of floating connected with the building of the hydroelectric power plants amounts to about 10,000 million marks over a period of 20 years.
The committee has suggested that an advisory committee on floating should be established. Its most important task would be to try to produce a general programme for the organization of floating under the changed conditions, and that the State should participate in the expenditure caused by the organization as regards the capital investment needed for changing over to bundle floating.
The PDF includes a summary in English.