Mercury capture by aerosol transformation in combustion environments

Chang Yu Wu, Elizabeth Arar, Pratim Biswas

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Mercury released from coal combustors and waste incinerators poses a potential environmental concern. Unlike most other heavy metals that are emitted in particulate form, mercury has been reported to be released mainly in the elemental vapor phase that is not effectively captured in typical particulate control devices. In this work, we examine the oxidation of mercury in air at high temperature environments. The objective is to effectively transform mercury into mercury oxide which has a higher possibility to form particles because of its lower vapor pressure. The study was conducted in a now reactor with real-time measurement of particle size distribution (by Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer) and composition analysis by x-ray diffraction for particles on filters and by Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy for gaseous species collected in impingers). Temperature was varied from 320°C to 1200°C and residence time was varied from 1.5 s to 45 s. Although oxidation was observed when the residence time was increased, the experimental results showed that the oxidation rate was too slow to be effective for mercury capture in practical combustion systems. Studies are needed for alternative approaches to capture mercury vapor such as the use of novel sorbent materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1996 Air & Waste Management Association's 89th Annual Meeting & Exhibition - Nashville, TN, USA
Duration: Jun 23 1996Jun 28 1996


ConferenceProceedings of the 1996 Air & Waste Management Association's 89th Annual Meeting & Exhibition
CityNashville, TN, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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