The Reduction of Mercury and Sulfur Dioxide Emissions From Coal-Fired Power Plants

EPA Contract Number: 68D99055
Title: The Reduction of Mercury and Sulfur Dioxide Emissions From Coal-Fired Power Plants
Investigators: Sylvester, Paul
Small Business: Lynntech Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through March 1, 2000
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The EPA has concluded that there is a plausible link between anthropogenic mercury emissions and mercury accumulations in fish. Hence, regulations are being enacted to reduce the levels of mercury emitted to the environment. Coal-fired utility boilers are the largest single source of anthropogenic mercury emissions in the United States, and no current technologies have been shown to be cost-effective in reducing the amount of mercury released into the environment. New clay-based materials have been devised to remove mercury from the gas phase. Advantages of these materials include low toxicity, high mercury capacity, low cost, compatibility with current systems, immobilization of the absorbed mercury, and the ability to remove mercury regardless of speciation.

Phase I will evaluate the synthesis, kinetics of mercury absorption, and the capacity of these materials and will study the absorption of sulfur dioxide. Pilot plant testing using a coal combustor will be performed in later phases of the project. Also, it will be determined whether the materials should be used as a final stage filter or injected into the flue gas as a dry powder.

The primary use will be for the removal of mercury from coal-fired utility plant and municipal waste incinerator emissions to reduce emission levels to meet new and future EPA regulations. This is expected to cause a major reduction of anthropogenic mercury emissions in the United States and worldwide. Capital costs are predicted to be minimal, and when used in conjunction with a wet flue gas desulfurization system, mercury discharges are expected to be reduced by 90 percent or more. These materials also could be used as mercury traps to allow the preconcentration of environmental samples to allow accurate determinations of ultralow levels of mercury.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, air emissions, engineering, chemistry, EPA., Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Sustainable Industry/Business, air toxics, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, HAPS, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Engineering, 33/50, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, sulfur dioxide absorption, air pollutants, emission control technologies, electric utilities, air pollution control, air pollution, emissions, flue gas, Sulfur dioxide, mercury absorbtion, mercury & mercury compounds, Mercury Compounds, cost effective, incineration, coal fired power plants, coal combustion, air emissions, power generation , removal, Sulfur Oxides (SO2)

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final