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Direct Measurement of Mercury Reactions in Coal Power Plant Plumes Technical Progress Report: May-October 2003

Description: This project was awarded under U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Program Solicitation DE-PS26-02NT41422 and specifically addresses Program Area of Interest: No.5--Environmental and Water Resources. The project team includes the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) as the contractor and the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) and Frontier Geosciences as subcontractors. Wisconsin Energies and its Pleasant Prairie Power Plant acted as host for the field-testing portion of the research. The project is aimed at clarifying the role, rates, and end results of chemical transformations that may occur to mercury that has been emitted from elevated stacks of coal-fired electric power plants. Mercury emitted from power plants emerges in either its elemental, divalent, or particulate-bound form. Deposition of the divalent form is more likely to occur closer to the source than that of the other two forms, due to its solubility in water. Thus, if chemical transformations occur in the stack emissions plume, measurements in the stack may mischaracterize the fate of the material. Initial field and pilot plant measurements have shown significant and rapid chemical reduction of divalent to elemental mercury may occur in these plumes. Mercury models currently assume that the chemical form of mercury occurring in stacks is the same as that which enters the free atmosphere, with no alteration occurring in the emissions plume. Recent data indicate otherwise, but need to be evaluated at full operating scale under field conditions. Prestbo and others have demonstrated the likelihood of significant mercury chemical reactions occurring in power plant plumes (Prestbo et al., 1999; MDNR-PPRP, 2000; EERC, 2001). This experiment will thus increase our understanding of mercury atmospheric chemistry, allowing informed decisions regarding source attribution. The experiment was carried out during the period August 22-September 5, 2003. The experimental site was the …
Date: January 1, 2004
Creator: Levin, Leonard
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