Brussels sets most ambitious climate targets in the world
From an original post in May 2010 from London in a letter to the Times from London. The original post was posted in order to permit the publication of a clarification. On second reading, one may question the idea that cooling towers do not pollute since there is an effect of heat pollution involved.
For information. This is an issue in which journalists continue to misrepresent their readers and I thought was worth firing off a letter to The Times.
I refer to the picture at the top of Page 12, of today’s Times, above the article, headed, “Brussels sets most ambitious climate targets in the world.”
I think if you carefully check the source of this picture, you would realise, in most probability, that the chimneys are, in fact, cooling towers which discharge nothing less than pure steam to the atmosphere! They are used at power stations, chemical process plants, etc, to cool hot liquid streams – circulated through the towers in closed piping systems – over which cold water is sprayed from above. The cooling water is consequently heated in the process and much of it is converted into steam which is carried upwards and out through the top of the tower by a strong current of air. The air enters the towers at the base, which is completely open to the atmosphere, and rises rapidly up the tower by the force of the draught, optimised by the special curved design of the tower. In the process, the water/steam does not come into contact with any of the material within the piping system and, therefore, does not become contaminated with any pollutants.
I suggest that, in future, your reporters would be better advised to illustrate any articles on air pollution by showing chimneys – usually of far more slender girth – which are really emitting polluting gases.
Phillip Lewis (Dr)