In this study, a Rankine cycle is investigated thermodynamic analyses through energy and exergy approaches. Environmental impact assessment for lignite, hard coal, biomass, fuel oil and hydrogen are also performed. For this purpose, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emission values are calculated for different fuels. The emission values are calculated using the emission factor method. The use of biomass and hydrogen significantly reduces emissions. Additionally, the effects of lignite drying process on the emissions from the plant are studied comparatively. It is aimed to decrease the humidity of Turkish (Tuncbilek) lignite from 27% to 19% in the drying chamber. By decreasing the moisture content, the lower heating value of the lignite is increased, and the emissions of CO2, NOx and SO2 resulting from lignite combustion are then decreased. The overall energy and exergy efficiencies are comparatively evaluated as found to be 29.6% and 47%, respectively.