J. Phys. IV France
Volume 107, May 2003
Page(s) 979 - 982

J. Phys. IV France
107 (2003) 979
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030462

Chemical mechanisms in mercury emission control technologies

E.S. Olson, J.D. Laumb, S.A. Benson, G.E. Dunham, R.K. Sharma, B.A. Mibeck, S.J. Miller, M.J. Holmes and J.H. Pavlish

Energy & Environmental Research Center, University of North Dakota, P.O. Box 9018, Grand Forks, ND 58202-9018, U.S.A.

The emission of elemental mercury in the flue gas from coal-burning power plants is a major environmental concern. Control technologies utilizing activated carbon show promise and are currently under intense review. Oxidation and capture of elemental mercury on activated carbon was extensively investigated in a variety of flue gas atmospheres. Extensive parametric testing with individual and a variety of combinations and concentrations of reactive flue gas components and spectroscopic examination of the sulfur and chlorine forms present before and after breakthrough have led to an improved model to explain the kinetic and capacity results. The improved model delineates the independent Lewis acid oxidation site as well as a zig-zag carbene site on the carbon edge that performs as a Lewis base in reacting with both the oxidized mercury formed at the oxidation site and with the acidic flue gas components in competing reactions to form organochlorine, sulfinate, and sulfate ester moieties on the carbon edge.

© EDP Sciences 2003