Overview China is the most populous nation in the world. Over the last 3 decades plus, open door policy has propelled growth in GDP but heavy damage to the environment is now a big price the entire world pays. Air – This is obvious and most talked about. Water – Lakes and rivers are badly polluted. Groundwater sources are worse. Estimated 70% of groundwater is contaminated. Soil – Especially arable land, is also badly contaminated. In March of 2013, government officials claimed actual percentage of contaminated arable land is state secret.
Air Sources of air pollution: Coal fire power plants; Automobile emissions; Steel mills, cement plants; Other industrial emissions; Waste burning; Dust storms; Main pollutants: sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), dioxins
Air Alarming facts: Not until the U. S. embassy in Beijing starting to announce PM2.5 levels in 2010, most Chinese nationals were not aware of PM2.5. According to WHO, PM2.5<10 is considered safe. In China, many cities are measured with PM2.5 >50 with some approaching 80. According to the China Environmental Analysis report published in January of 2013, 7 out of the top 10 worst air quality metropolitan areas on earth are in China. China wishes to control sulfur dioxide emission to under 12m tons per annum. However, currently, that number exceeds 22m tons per annum.
Water Sources of water pollution: Industrial waste water; Agricultural wastes; City waste water; Garbage and sludge; Main pollutants: Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, chromium (hexavalent chromium), arsenic, mercury, cyanide, copper, etc. Pesticides, fertilizer; excess nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus causes rapid abnormal growths of blue algae taking up oxygen and destroying ecosystem. Cleaning agents (chemicals), germs, microbes…
Water Alarming facts: China’s total wastewater = 30b tons per annum; 54 of China’s 78 main rivers are severely contaminated; ~65% of China’s lakes, mostly suffer from high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, have serious blue algae issues; Identified contaminants including chemicals and heavy metals = 2200+, of which, 765 can be classified as carcinogens; Aquifers are damaged thus groundwater contaminated owing to excess and out of control landfills of garbage, sludge, and frequent pumping of wastewater deep underground… Estimated 60 – 70% of groundwater in China is contaminated. Many bottled water companies use filtered or RO groundwater and sell as “mineral” drinking water;
Soil Sources of soil pollution: Dumping, landfill; Agricultural – fertilizer, pesticides, irrigation; Industrial waste; Main pollutants: Bacteria: Shigella (cause of Shigellosis), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Bacillus anthracis (etiologic agent of anthrax — a common disease of livestock and, occasionally, of humans), Clostridium botulinum (causes botulism leading to flaccid muscular paralysis), etc.; Heavy metals – cadmium, lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium, thallium, etc.; Growth hormones, antibiotics, anabolic steroids, triclosan, etc.;
Soil Alarming facts: Some studies estimate at least 1/6 of China’s arable land (~77,220.43 sq. miles) is contaminated; Of all developed and developing nations, China is the only country that has had steadily increased usage of inorganic fertilizer while per acreage harvest decreases; China’s annual usage of pesticides is estimated at 1.3m ton, 2.5 times higher than world average; Animal wastes totaling 3.8 times the amount of industrial biosolids (roughly 4.5 – 5m tons per annum) are being returned to the soil each year as, in many instances, “organic” fertilizer; Farmed animal wastes containing growth hormone, steroids, antibiotics residues, in addition to harmful bacteria and microbes, are widely used as “organic” fertilizer, further contaminating soil in a complex way;
Opportunities - Air Primarily in the de-sox and de-nox solutions; De-sox is relatively mature technology; Combination of de-sox and de-nox will be breakthrough; Estimated 99% fire power plants in China still need de-nox solutions implemented; Competition is fierce; potential customers are mostly state- owned enterprises; China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection released estimates of the De-Nox equipment market size to be ~US$2.5B for LNB (Low Nox Burner optimization), ~US$1.7B for SNCR (Selective Non Catalytic Reduction), and ~US$17B for SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) in the next 5-7 years.
Opportunities - Water China’s 12th 5 year plan (2011 – 2016) calls for roughly ~US$115b in new WWTPs to be built; Roughly 1,500 existing WWTPs need to be upgraded and that’s ~US$17b in upgrade market; Competition fierce and most are BOT (Build- Operate- Transfer) or BOO (Build-Own-Operate) or PPP (Public Private Partnership) models which are not typical desirable VC investments; Biosolids (sludge) are now center stage as China’s 12th 5 year plan sets goal to have 70% of sludge treated by 2015 versus less than 25% in 2010. China’s Central Government has pledged to subsidize ~US$6b to the industry;
Opportunities - Soil Arable land remediation alone could represent a market that’s larger than air and water combined. Based on few government released numbers, agricultural products contaminated by heavy metals alone are in excess of 12m tons a year, causing over US$3.5b annually in direct economic losses; China’s saline alkali land totals over 382,241.13 square miles, mature technologies are available to remediate the problem. Chinese government is willing to pay close to $3.14m per square mile for successfully treated saline alkali land so vegetation may grow which could directly positively impact climate. If saline alkali land could be turned into arable land, it’ll help China become more self-sufficient and politically independent. If sludge can successfully be treated and turned into soil amendment to grow vegetation, mountainous areas in the great west could benefit greatly.
Other Opportunities Green Animal Farms – ducks, chickens, pigs, etc.; Alfalfa and Millet Farms – Natural feed for cows to produce better milk; Sludge to energy – Sludge to coal; sludge to methane, etc.; Medical wastes – Currently a 80% plus monopoly under Mr. Wen Jia Hong, could change soon since Wen Jia Bao has retired.
Appendix A Anaerobic digestion to produce biogas, pyrolysis of the sludge to create syngas and potentially biochar, or incineration in a waste-to-energy facility for direct production of electricity and steam for district heating or industrial uses. Synergies from these processes include a far lower, controlled level of methane release (an extremely potent greenhouse gas) to the atmosphere from the pyrolyzed/digested/combusted sludge rather than the uncontrolled release of methane from untreated sludge. If methane is captured rather than allowed to outgas, it can be used for fuel, closing the carbon cycle. Thermal or anaerobic processes greatly reduce the volume of the sludge, as well as achieve remediation of the biological concerns. Direct waste-to-energy incineration systems require multi-step cleaning of the exhaust gas, to ensure no hazardous substances are released. In addition, the ash produced by incineration is difficult to use without subsequent treatment due to its high heavy metal content; solutions to this include leaching of the ashes to remove heavy metals followed by reuse of the ash as aggregate for concrete, or if biochar is used, the heavy metals may be fixed in place by the char structure. Another way to use dried sewage sludge as an energy resource is to burn it together with coal in coal-fired power stations. This is considered as biomass co-firing, which allows power stations to produce the same amount of electricity with less carbon-dioxide emissions.
Appendix BChina’s water resources are insufficient andunequally distributed• According to the World Bank, on a per capita basis, China’s water resource at 2,124 m3 per capita represents only one quarter of the world average at 6,442 m3 per capita.• China’s Ministry of Water Resources estimates that 400 of China’s 660 cities are suffering from shortage of water.Unequal distribution of water resources isexacerbating China’s water problems• Approximately 40% of China’s population reside in the northern regions. However, northern China has access to only 14% of China’s water resources.• The South-North Water Diversion targets pumping 12 million m3 of water per day from the Southern Yangtze River to the North, with an estimated tariff of at least 9 yuan/ton.
China to spend $16 billion to tackle Beijing pollution crisisSHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will spend 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) over three years to deal with Beijings pollution, anofficial newspaper reported on Friday, as the government tries to defuse mounting public anger over environmentaldegradation.Beijings government has pledged to improve sewage disposal, garbage treatment and air quality, as well as crack down onillegal construction, the China Daily newspaper said, citing a three-year plan released on Thursday.Air quality in Beijing, a city of around 20 million people, has mostly stayed above "very unhealthy" and "hazardous" levels sincethe beginning of this year.Pollution was one of the key themes at the recent National Party Congress, where Chinas new leaders were confirmed. ManyChinese feel the government lacks bite when it comes to enforcing policies designed to protect the environment.Beijings plan includes laying or upgrading 1,290 km (800 miles) of sewage pipeline, building five garbage incineration plants,setting up 47 water recycling plants and upgrading 20 sewage disposal plants, said China Daily.Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun called on the government to allow the private sector to participate in these investments.The government also plans to curb illegal construction and land use, and will compile a list of illegal buildings for demolitionnext year, Beijing Deputy Mayor Wang Wei told China Daily.Most of Chinas major cities are plagued by pollution of one sort or another. Earlier this month thousands of dead pigs werefound floating in one of Shanghais main water sources.($1 = 6.2143 Chinese yuan)(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Stephen Coates and Miral Fahmy) 3/30/2013
Chinas new premier vows to tackle pollutionBEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged on Sunday that his government would "show even greater resolve"in tackling Chinas festering pollution crisis, a source of increasing public fury. Lis remarks at his debut press conference as premier were the highest-level public comments on the problem to date, thoughhe gave few specifics about how the government planned to address the environmental effects of rapid economic growth.Street-level anger over the air pollution that blanketed many northern cities this winter has spilled over into online appeals forBeijing to clean water supplies as well.The rotting corpses of more than 12,000 pigs found this month in a river that supplies tap water to Shanghai drew even moreattention to water safety.Li said he encouraged increased public participation in cleaning Chinas water, soil and air."This government will show even greater resolve and take more vigorous efforts to clean up such pollution," Li said, referringto the winter smog.Air quality in Beijing has mostly stayed above "very unhealthy" and "hazardous" levels since the beginning of this year. OnSunday, it hit 286 on an index maintained by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which described the pollution as "very unhealthy".Nationally, environmental complaints have sparked unrest and even riots, to the alarm of the stability-obsessed rulingCommunist Party.Beijing will set deadlines to tackle pollution caused by man-made factors, Li said, adding that the government will phase out"backward production facilities"."We need to face the situation and punish offenders with no mercy and enforce the law with an iron fist," Li said."We shouldnt pursue economic growth at the expense of the environment. Such growth wont satisfy the people," he added.Li also promised a crackdown on fake and substandard food, another persistent problem which has caused widespread alarm,with scandals in recent years including toxic milk powder, and painted stones sold as rice.The government will "take strong measures to punish the heartless producers of substandard and fake food so they will pay ahigh price", Li said.(Reporting by Benjamin Kang Lim and Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Daniel Magnowski) 3/30/2013