Active methods of mercury removal from flue gases.


Faculty of Energy and Fuels, AGH University of Science and Technology, Mickiewicz Avenue 30, 30-059, Krakow, Poland. [Email]


Due to its adverse impact on health, as well as its global distribution, long atmospheric lifetime and propensity for deposition in the aquatic environment and in living tissue, the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has classified mercury and its compounds as a severe air quality threat. Such widespread presence of mercury in the environment originates from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Global anthropogenic emission of mercury is evaluated at 2000 Mg year-1. According to the National Centre for Emissions Management (Pol. KOBiZE) report for 2014, Polish annual mercury emissions amount to approximately 10 Mg. Over 90% of mercury emissions in Poland originate from combustion of coal.The purpose of this paper was to understand mercury behaviour during sub-bituminous coal and lignite combustion for flue gas purification in terms of reduction of emissions by active methods. The average mercury content in Polish sub-bituminous coal and lignite was 103.7 and 443.5 μg kg-1. The concentration of mercury in flue gases emitted into the atmosphere was 5.3 μg m-3 for sub-bituminous coal and 17.5 μg m-3 for lignite. The study analysed six low-cost sorbents with the average achieved efficiency of mercury removal from 30.6 to 92.9% for sub-bituminous coal and 22.8 to 80.3% for lignite combustion. Also, the effect of coke dust grain size was examined for mercury sorptive properties. The fine fraction of coke dust (CD) adsorbed within 243-277 μg Hg kg-1, while the largest fraction at only 95 μg Hg kg-1. The CD fraction < 0.063 mm removed almost 92% of mercury during coal combustion, so the concentration of mercury in flue gas decreased from 5.3 to 0.4 μg Hg m-3. The same fraction of CD had removed 93% of mercury from lignite flue gas by reducing the concentration of mercury in the flow from 17.6 to 1.2 μg Hg m-3. The publication also presents the impact of photochemical oxidation of mercury on the effectiveness of Hg vapour removal during combustion of lignite. After physical oxidation of Hg in the flue gas, its effectiveness has increased twofold.


Anthropogenic emission,Flue gases purification,Lignite,Mercury removal,Solid fuels,Sorbents,Sub-bituminous coal,