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 Abstract

  Economic and Environmental Analysis of Technologies to Treat and Dispose of Mercury in a Waste Containment Facility (213 pp, 4.09 MB) (EPA/600/R-05/157) April 2005

This report describes an economic and environmental analysis of technologies for the treatment and disposal of elemental mercury. The analysis considers three treatment technologies that convert elemental mercury into a stable form of mercury. The technologies are identified as Option A, Option B, and Option C in this report. Several vendors use processing techniques or prepare economic information that has been claimed as proprietary; however, only nonproprietary information is presented in this report.

Each of the three treatment technologies is subject to a number of variations that include a centralized treatment facility or one or more mobile treatment facilities, followed by macroencapsulation or no macroencapsulation, with ultimate disposal in a monofill. Thus, there are twelve treatment and disposal alternatives. Also, three different masses of mercury are being considered for each of the 12 alternatives: 5,000 metric tons, 12,000 metric tons, and 25,000 metric tons.

In addition, cost estimates have been prepared for storage of the three masses of elemental mercury in above-ground facilities, making a total of 39 cost estimates in all. It is assumed that 1,000 metric tons (M/T) per year are treated and disposed of, independent of the total mass. For the storage alternatives, it is assumed that 5,000 M/T are already in storage (consistent with the existing amount in government stockpiles) and that the additional elemental mercury becomes available over 12 and 25 years, respectively, for the 12,000 M/T and 25,000 M/T alternatives (due to chlor-alkali plant closure).

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Paul Randall

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