NR1840

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                         SEPTEMBER 2013

Is the Market For Mercury Control Millions or Billions of Dollars Per Year?

The U.S. has promulgated three tough emission standards to limit mercury emissions from industrial sources. Other countries have primarily only placed limits on incinerator emissions. However, limitations are being considered for other sources.   According to the findings in Mercury Air Reduction Markets published by the McIlvaine Company, the annual future market for control equipment and consumables to reduce mercury could vary from as little as $500 million per year to as much as $3 billion per year.

An international conference on the subject was held this summer in Europe. Attendees were well aware that mercury is a world traveler. Once it is released into the atmosphere, mercury is transported and deposited on the earth's surface by rain and snowstorms, as well as wind storms and forest fires. The transport and deposition of mercury is dependent upon many variables such as meteorological conditions, other chemical pollutants emitted along with mercury and the chemical make-up of the air mass. Deposition can occur in as little as five to fourteen days after mercury is emitted to the air or it can take approximately one year -- during which time mercury can reside in the air and be transported far around the globe.

The size of the market in the U.S. will largely be determined by the choice of technologies as well as the definition. The combination of halogen chemicals and wet scrubbing could prove to be a low-cost solution. Expenditures for the chemicals would involve very little capital cost and modest operating cost. Many plants in the U.S., Europe and even China have scrubbers. However, for plants without scrubbers the capital and operating cost would be substantial. On the other hand, these scrubbers serve the primary purpose of removing SO2 and HCl. So a narrow definition which assumes there is no cost for the scrubbing portion leads to low revenue projections for the market.

There is competition between activated carbon injection and mercury capture in existing particulate equipment on one hand, and the halogen chemicals and scrubbers on the other. The potential market for activated carbon is over one billion pounds per year. This would exceed the present world use of activated carbon for all other environmental purposes.

The coal-fired power industry, waste-to-energy, cement plants and gold mining operations all are major contributors to the global mercury emissions. The McIlvaine Company is continually adjusting its predictions for the market in each country and each industry.

For more information on Mercury Air Reduction Markets, click on: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/index.php/markets/2-uncategorised/85-n056