NR2047

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    JANUARY 2015

Multi-Billion Dollar Mercury Air Emission Market Is Taking a New Path

The market for consumables and hardware to reduce stack emissions of mercury is growing but not in the manner predicted a few years ago.  This is the conclusion reached by the McIlvaine Company in Mercury Air Reduction Market. (www.mcilvainecompany.com)

The first market for mercury reduction was associated with hazardous waste and municipal solid waste combustion plants. By 2000, most solid and hazardous waste combustors were required to limit mercury emissions. Most of the plants inject activated carbon ahead of fabric filters to capture mercury. The technology is wide spread with developing and well as developed countries employing the technology.

The size of the waste combustion plants is very small compared to coal-fired power plants. So even though mercury levels were higher, the total mercury emissions were comparatively very small.  The U.S. has now led the way in regulating mercury emissions from coal-fired boilers. Despite a tortuous legal path, power plants will be required to meet tough limits in 2016.

As of 2013, it appeared that the U.S. power industry would be the main market and that activated carbon injection would be the control choice for nearly all power plants. The present outlook is somewhat different.

  • Activated carbon will be only one of a number of technologies employed.
  • Multiple technologies may often be employed.
  • Cement plants and industrial boilers will also be purchasers.
  • China and a number of other countries are also moving forward to implement controls.
  • Higher removal efficiencies can be achieved at reasonable cost.
  • Since laws are based on the best available technology at reasonable cost, efficiency requirements are likely to become more stringent.
  • Major measurement problems have to be resolved.

Activated carbon will be only one of a number of technologies employed. Activated carbon will be widely used but other non-carbon sorbents are also proving viable. Wet scrubbers in conjunction with bromine chemicals are cost effective.  Chemtura, Albemarle and other chemical companies are pursuing this market.  A tail end module from W.L. Gore has been proven at full scale commercial operation.

Multiple technologies may often be employed. Activated carbon can be used in the scrubber or preceding the scrubber. Chemicals added with the coal can improve activated carbon capture as well as oxidizing the mercury for capture in the scrubber.

Cement plant industrial boilers and other industries will also be purchasers.  A number of other emitters are now being targeted.  Mines are a major mercury source.

China and a number of other countries are also moving forward to implement controls.   Within the last few months, standards as tough as those in the U.S. have been adopted by some areas of China.

Higher removal efficiencies can be achieved at reasonable cost. The cost of very high removal efficiency has been found to be much lower than first estimated.  This will lead to even tougher laws.

Major measurement problems have to be resolved. Uncontrolled power plants emit mercury only in the gaseous form.  As a result, gaseous measurement in the U.S. is the only requirement. Unfortunately, activated carbon converts mercury to the particulate form. Some escapes control devices.  So it will be necessary to measure both particulate and gaseous mercury emissions to determine the efficiency of the control device.

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