Mississippi Power has a long history of reducing emissions from our power plants while still meeting our customers’ ever-growing electricity demands. However, we are still striving to improve, as additional emissions controls and reductions are in progress and will be completed over the next several years. These investments equip our coal-fired power plants with the latest environmental controls to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury.
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) comes from the sulfur found naturally in coal when it is burned in a boiler to produce electricity. SO2 is a contributor to acid rain, fine particulate matter, and also contributes to visibility issues in our national parks and wilderness areas.
Early reductions in SO2 began in the mid-1990s, resulting from purchases of lower-sulfur coals. However, the dramatic reductions in the last several years are the result of installing "scrubbers." Scrubbers are systems that remove SO2 using limestone in the cleaning process, which produces gypsum—a material that has several uses, such as the production of wallboard or as fertilizer. These systems remove over 95 percent of the SO2 produced by the burning of coal. Mississippi Power is currently constructing a scrubber at Plant Daniel in Jackson County. (Link to scrubber page)
NOx emissions result from the combustion of any material, including coal, gasoline, natural gas, or even leaves in your yard. NOx is a principal contributor to the formation of ozone in the air, mostly on hot summer days. Ozone is a respiratory irritant and can trigger health effects such as asthma attacks. NOx emissions are regulated by the state of Mississippi as part of their overall planning to manage ozone formation.
While automobile emissions of NOx are a principal contributor to ozone formation, Mississippi Power has made significant investments to reduce our emissions of NOx.