NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    DECEMBER 2013

World Expenditures for Mercury Control Will Be Large and the Decisions Difficult

More than $1 billion/yr will be spent to control mercury emissions from exhaust stacks in the coming years. There are many technologies to make these reductions under development.  There are unique aspects to cement processes which are different from coal-fired boilers or waste-to-energy power plants which make the approach for each different. There are even significant differences from plant to plant within an industry. Furthermore, the regulations are different depending on the industry and locality.

To help suppliers and purchasers deal with these complexities, McIlvaine is offering two programs. Mercury Reduction Global Decisions Positioning System™ isa free service for the owner/operators.  Mercury Air Reduction Markets provides the forecasts and routes to market for the suppliers.

The present world stack emissions of mercury are 1,500 tons. More than 75 percent of this total is being emitted by power plants in Asia.  Coal-fired power plants are 500 tons/yr. Cement plants emit close to 400 tons. Waste-to-energy plants generate large quantities of mercury, but much of it is already captured in pollution control equipment.  The mining and smelting industries account form a good portion of the remaining quantity.

The much touted air toxic regulation for power plants in the U.S. will only reduce mercury by about 40 tons. The new U.S. toxic rules for cement and industrial boiler plants will add another 20 tons of reduction. So this legislation will only make a slight reduction in the world’s total emissions.

China has new regulations but they allow fifteen times the mercury emissions which are allowed for U.S. coal-fired power plants.  China has indicated that it will tighten these regulations over the next decade.

One of the big immediate growth sectors for control equipment in China and elsewhere is in the cement industry.  Cement plants that burn hazardous waste are subject to tough mercury standards. To become more competitive, Chinese cement plant operators are moving to hazardous waste combustion. Much of the 650,000 tons of industrial waste generated annually in China is hazardous.

Cemex and many cement companies outside China are moving to alternative fuels as a way to be more competitive. 

Waste-to-energy power plants are finding novel ways to eliminate mercury and make usable byproducts.  Suez has five facilities making hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid.

For more information on the system for owner/operators, click on: Mercury Reduction Global Decisions Positioning System™

For information on the system for suppliers, click on: Mercury Air Reduction Markets