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Air and Climate Change Research

Mercury Control

Combustion & Emissions Control


The Mercury Emissions and Control research efforts look at a broad range of issues that affect the measurement and control of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants and other stationary industrial sources.  Understanding the fundamental chemistry of gas-phase and surface-enhanced mercury oxidation and capture mechanisms has been one of the key components of this research.  EPA researchers have evaluated and tested many advanced technologies and concepts for gas phase mercury capture.  These efforts have included studies examining:  the catalytic oxidation of Hg0 vapor in a SCR catalyst, the use of advanced activated carbon and non-carbon adsorbents, the capture of mercury in a wet-flue gas desulfurization scrubber, and others.  EPA researchers have also been very involved in the successful development and demonstration of continuous emissions mercury monitors (CEMMs).  EPA researchers have also played a key role in studies to understand the fate of captured mercury (and other hazardous trace metals) in coal combustion residues (fly ash, scrubber sludge, wastewater treatment solids, gypsum, etc.).


The mercury emissions and control research has involved studies at all scales.  This has included fundamental bench-scale studies, larger pilot-scale demonstrations, and field testing at power plants and industrial sources.  The approach has been to develop a fundamental understanding of the mercury chemistry and mechanisms involved in the oxidation, binding, measurement and transport of mercury in the environment.  That fundamental understanding is then transferred to practical solutions for mercury measurement, emission control, and safe disposal or use of coal combustion residuals.

Anticipated / Generated Impact and Products

The goal of the program is to advance the fundamental understanding of the chemistry and mechanisms involved in the measurement, control and fate and transport of mercury from industrial stationary sources – including coal-fired power plants.



Mercury Speciation and Control in Coal-Fired Boilers (WA-19)
Enhancement of Mercury Oxidation on MPCRF
Field Evaluation of Mercury CEMS at a Coal-Fired Power Plant (WA 2-39, 3-39)
Hg Measurements Laboratory and Field Testing
Field Monitoring of Speciated Mercury Emissions at a Coal-Fired Power Plant using Hg CEMS
Sorbent Injection for Mercury Control on APPCD's Multi-pollutant Control Research Facility (MPCRF)
Testing of Advanced Hg and Multi-pollutant Sorbents in the Entrained Flow Reactor
Investigation of Mercury Control in FGD Wet Scrubber Systems
Life-Cycle Study of Fate of Hg, As, and Se on CCR Management


John Masters, Communications
Phone: 919-541-0634
Email: masters.john@epa.gov
U.S. EPA National Risk Management Research Laboratory
Air Pollution Prevention and Control Division
Mail Code: E343-02
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711

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