Programmable thermal dissociation of reactive gaseous mercury, a potential approach to chemical speciation: Results from a field study

Cheryl Tatum Ernest, Deanna Donohoue, Dieter Bauer, Arnout Ter Schure, Anthony J Hynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Programmable Thermal Dissociation (PTD) has been used to investigate the chemical speciation of Reactive Gaseous Mercury (RGM, Hg2+). RGM was collected on denuders and analyzed using PTD. The technique was tested in a field campaign at a coal-fired power plant in Pensacola, Florida. Stack gas samples were collected from ducts located after the electrostatic precipitator and prior to entering the stack. An airship was used to sample from the stack plume, downwind of the stack exit. The PTD profiles from these samples were compared with PTD profiles of HgCl2. Comparison of stack and in-plume samples suggest that the chemical speciation are the same and that it is possible to track a specific chemical form of RGM from the stack and follow its evolution in the stack plume. Comparison of the measured plume RGM with the amount calculated from in-stack measurements and the measured plume dilution suggest that the stack and plume RGM concentrations are consistent with dilution. The PTD profiles of the stack and plume samples are consistent with HgCl2 being the chemical form of the sampled RGM. Comparison with literature PTD profiles of reference mercury compounds suggests no other likely candidates for the speciation of RGM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-596
Number of pages22
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014



  • Gaseous elemental mercury
  • Mercury
  • Programmable thermal dissociation
  • Reactive gaseous mercury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science

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