New Limits Set For Geothermal Emissions - The Reykjavik Grapevine

New Limits Set For Geothermal Emissions

Published April 25, 2014

Photos by
Sarah Pepin

New levels for poisonous and polluting hydrogen sulfide emissions from geothermal energy plants will be going into effect this July.

DV reports that starting this July, geothermal energy plants will not be allowed to emit more than 50 microgrammes of hydrogen sulfide per cubic metre every 24 hours.

This may prove difficult for plants such as the Hellisheiðarvirkjun geothermal energy plant, which has contributed significantly to levels of the toxin in the area. Njörður Sigurðsson, who lives in nearby Hveragerði, told reporters that many residents have felt the impact of hydrogen sulfide. 

While hydrogen sulfide is naturally occurring – even the human body produces small amounts of it – large concentrations of it can be released by geothermal plants. It is alsohighly toxic, capable of damaging many different systems in the human body.

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