Thioether Amended Silica-Polyamine Composite Materials for Mercury (II) Extraction

EPA Contract Number: 68D00260
Title: Thioether Amended Silica-Polyamine Composite Materials for Mercury (II) Extraction
Investigators: Fischer, Robert J.
Current Investigators: Ficher, Robert J.
Small Business: Purity Systems Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2000 through March 1, 2001
Project Amount: $69,368
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water and Watersheds , SBIR - Water and Wastewater , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The Phase I objective is to develop a silica-polyamine composite material to be used in an efficient, environmentally benign system to extract oxidized mercury from coal-fire flue gas desulfurization water to levels less that 2 ppb.

Presently, more than 200 of the largest coal-fired utility boilers in the United States utilize a flue gas desulfurization (FGD or wet scrubbers) process. Although these processes were designed primarily to remove sulfur dioxide from the plant emissions, the wet scrubbers also entrain oxidized mercury in the scrubber water. The mercury levels in the scrubber water can reach 600 ppb. The primary treatment strategy for the water is precipitation in large settling ponds. These ponds can be an attractive hazard to local wildlife with their high levels of mercury contamination and often are not effective enough to enable direct discharge of the treated water.

Purity Systems, Inc., plans to produce a material, with a long useful lifetime, which will extract mercury II from flue gas desulfurization water containing up to 600 ppb mercury efficiently and effectively at high processing rates. These materials will have long useful lifetimes; based on the lifetimes of similar materials, the thioether amended silica-polyamine composite materials should be effective even after 3,000 extraction cycles. The process using these materials will produce effluent waters containing less than 2 ppb mercury and allow for the recovery of the sequestered mercury containing sludge for disposal. The initial capital expenditure for these materials is predicted to be three-fifths the cost of resin-based materials currently being tested for this application.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, air emissions, mercury removal, scrubber water treatment, engineering, chemistry, EPA., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Water, Chemical Engineering, Wastewater, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, HAPS, Hazardous Waste, Chemistry and Materials Science, Engineering, Hazardous, 33/50, Environmental Engineering, Mercury, wastewater treatment, silica-polyamine composite, hazardous waste treatment, industrial wastewater, silica materials, mercury (II) extraction, Mercury Compounds, mercury & mercury compounds

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report