Pollutant Information: Hydrogen Chloride 

About Hydrogen Chloride

Category: Air pollutants

Hydrogen chloride (HCl) is an acidic gas which is primarily released to air from combustion of fuels which contain trace amounts of chlorine. Solid fuels, and particularly coal, do contain chlorine and, as a result, the combustion of coal is responsible for the majority of UK emissions: 96% in 1990 and 50% in 2021. Emissions have fallen by 98% since 1990 as a result of the decline in coal use throughout the UK economy, and the installation of emission controls at coal-fired power stations since 1993. The decline in emissions from coal combustion has meant that other sources now contribute a higher percentage of UK emissions than was the case in 1990. Of particular note, the burning of biomass and municipal solid waste (MSW) to generate heat and power contributed 34% to UK emissions of HCl in 2021.

» View and Download Hydrogen Chloride emission summary data

Time series graph

Notable events

Start year End year Sector Information Impact
1984 1985 Public Electricity and Heat Production Miners strike resulting in a reduction in the consumption of coal in power stations for that year. Decrease in emissions
1990 2016 Public Electricity and Heat Production Decline in the use of coal in energy production and the installation of flue gas desulphurisation at Drax and Ratcliffe power stations since 1993 Decrease in emissions

Hydrogen Chloride contributes to the following...

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