COLIN CUTHBERT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY COLIN CUTHBERT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Power station machinery. This is a deaerator (top) and feedwater tank (bottom) in a coal-fired power station. The feedwater tank provides water to the deaerator, which removes dissolved gases from the water. Only then can the water be used in the piping of a power station, as otherwise it would be too corrosive to the metal piping. The water is heated by the burning of coal, and the resulting steam is used to drive turbines to generate electricity. This is the Drax power station near Selby, North Yorkshire, UK. As of 2006, Drax is the largest, cleanest and most efficient of the UK's coal-fired power stations. It can burn 36,000 tones of coal a day to produce 4,000 megawatts of power, around 7% of the UK's electricity needs. It was built from 1974-1986.
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