Description: Effective removal of mercury contamination from water is a complex and difficult problem. In particular, mercury treatment of natural waters is difficult because of the low regulatory standards. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency has established a national ambient water quality standard of 12 parts-per-trillion (ppt), whereas the standard is 1.8 ppt in the Great Lakes Region. In addition, mercury is typically present in several different forms, but sorption processes are rarely effective with more than one or two of these forms. To meet the low regulatory discharge limits, a sorption process must be able to address all forms of mercury present in the water. One approach is to apply different sorbents in series depending on the mercury speciation and the regulatory discharge limits. Four new sorbents have been developed to address the variety of mercury species present in industrial discharges and natural waters. Three of these sorbents have been field tested on contaminated creek water at the Y-12 Plant. Two of these sorbents have demonstrated very high removal efficiencies for soluble mercury species, with mercury concentrations at the outlet of a pilot-scale system less than 12 ppt for as long as six months. The other sorbent tested at the Y-12 Plant is targeted at colloidal mercury that is not removed by standard sorption or filtration processes. At the Y-12 Plant, colloidal mercury appears to be associated with iron, so a sorbent that removes mercury-iron complexes in the presence of a magnetic field was evaluated. Field results indicate good removal of this mercury fraction from the Y-12 waters. In addition, this sorbent is easily regenerated by simply removing the magnetic field and flushing the columns with water. The fourth sorbent is still undergoing laboratory development, but results to date indicate exceptionally high mercury sorption capacity. The sorbent is capable of ...
Date: January 13, 2000
Creator: Faucette, A.; Bognar, J.; Broderick, T. & Battaglia, T.
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