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Title: Mercury and Air Toxic Element Impacts of Coal Combustion By-Product Disposal and Utilizaton

Abstract

The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) conducted a multiyear study to evaluate the impact of mercury and other air toxic elements (ATEs) on the management of coal combustion by-products (CCBs). The ATEs evaluated in this project were arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, nickel, and selenium. The study included laboratory tasks to develop measurement techniques for mercury and ATE releases, sample characterization, and release experiments. A field task was also performed to measure mercury releases at a field site. Samples of fly ash and flue gas desulfurization (FGD) materials were collected preferentially from full-scale coal-fired power plants operating both without and with mercury control technologies in place. In some cases, samples from pilot- and bench-scale emission control tests were included in the laboratory studies. Several sets of 'paired' baseline and test fly ash and FGD materials collected during full-scale mercury emission control tests were also included in laboratory evaluations. Samples from mercury emission control tests all contained activated carbon (AC) and some also incorporated a sorbent-enhancing agent (EA). Laboratory release experiments focused on measuring releases of mercury under conditions designed to simulate CCB exposure to water, ambient-temperature air, elevated temperatures, and microbes in both wet and drymore » conditions. Results of laboratory evaluations indicated that: (1) Mercury and sometimes selenium are collected with AC used for mercury emission control and, therefore, present at higher concentrations than samples collected without mercury emission controls present. (2) Mercury is stable on CCBs collected from systems both without and with mercury emission controls present under most conditions tested, with the exception of vapor-phase releases of mercury exposed to elevated temperatures. (3) The presence of carbon either from added AC or from unburned coal can result in mercury being sorbed onto the CCB when exposed to ambient-temperature air. The environmental performance of the mercury captured on AC used as a sorbent for mercury emission control technologies indicated that current CCB management options will continue to be sufficiently protective of the environment, with the potential exception of exposure to elevated temperatures. The environmental performance of the other ATEs investigated indicated that current management options will be appropriate to the CCBs produced using AC in mercury emission controls.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University Of North Dakota
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
981821
DOE Contract Number:
FC26-03NT41727
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; ACTIVATED CARBON; AMBIENT TEMPERATURE; ARSENIC; BY-PRODUCTS; CADMIUM; CARBON; CHROMIUM; COAL; COMBUSTION; DESULFURIZATION; FLUE GAS; FLY ASH; MERCURY; NICKEL; POWER PLANTS; SELENIUM; WATER

Citation Formats

David Hassett, Loreal Heebink, Debra Pflughoeft-Hassett, Tera Buckley, Erick Zacher, Mei Xin, Mae Sexauer Gustin, and Rob Jung. Mercury and Air Toxic Element Impacts of Coal Combustion By-Product Disposal and Utilizaton. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/981821.
David Hassett, Loreal Heebink, Debra Pflughoeft-Hassett, Tera Buckley, Erick Zacher, Mei Xin, Mae Sexauer Gustin, & Rob Jung. Mercury and Air Toxic Element Impacts of Coal Combustion By-Product Disposal and Utilizaton. United States. doi:10.2172/981821.
David Hassett, Loreal Heebink, Debra Pflughoeft-Hassett, Tera Buckley, Erick Zacher, Mei Xin, Mae Sexauer Gustin, and Rob Jung. Sat . "Mercury and Air Toxic Element Impacts of Coal Combustion By-Product Disposal and Utilizaton". United States. doi:10.2172/981821. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/981821.
@article{osti_981821,
title = {Mercury and Air Toxic Element Impacts of Coal Combustion By-Product Disposal and Utilizaton},
author = {David Hassett and Loreal Heebink and Debra Pflughoeft-Hassett and Tera Buckley and Erick Zacher and Mei Xin and Mae Sexauer Gustin and Rob Jung},
abstractNote = {The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) conducted a multiyear study to evaluate the impact of mercury and other air toxic elements (ATEs) on the management of coal combustion by-products (CCBs). The ATEs evaluated in this project were arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, nickel, and selenium. The study included laboratory tasks to develop measurement techniques for mercury and ATE releases, sample characterization, and release experiments. A field task was also performed to measure mercury releases at a field site. Samples of fly ash and flue gas desulfurization (FGD) materials were collected preferentially from full-scale coal-fired power plants operating both without and with mercury control technologies in place. In some cases, samples from pilot- and bench-scale emission control tests were included in the laboratory studies. Several sets of 'paired' baseline and test fly ash and FGD materials collected during full-scale mercury emission control tests were also included in laboratory evaluations. Samples from mercury emission control tests all contained activated carbon (AC) and some also incorporated a sorbent-enhancing agent (EA). Laboratory release experiments focused on measuring releases of mercury under conditions designed to simulate CCB exposure to water, ambient-temperature air, elevated temperatures, and microbes in both wet and dry conditions. Results of laboratory evaluations indicated that: (1) Mercury and sometimes selenium are collected with AC used for mercury emission control and, therefore, present at higher concentrations than samples collected without mercury emission controls present. (2) Mercury is stable on CCBs collected from systems both without and with mercury emission controls present under most conditions tested, with the exception of vapor-phase releases of mercury exposed to elevated temperatures. (3) The presence of carbon either from added AC or from unburned coal can result in mercury being sorbed onto the CCB when exposed to ambient-temperature air. The environmental performance of the mercury captured on AC used as a sorbent for mercury emission control technologies indicated that current CCB management options will continue to be sufficiently protective of the environment, with the potential exception of exposure to elevated temperatures. The environmental performance of the other ATEs investigated indicated that current management options will be appropriate to the CCBs produced using AC in mercury emission controls.},
doi = {10.2172/981821},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Mar 31 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Sat Mar 31 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Preliminary work focused on initiating communications among the project sponsors and developing a detailed work plan for Year 1 of the project. Preparations for the project kickoff meeting included development of detailed work plans for all three years of the project, with emphasis on Year 1, development of sample selection criteria, and identification of information required on samples to be included in the study.
  • On April 3, 2003, a project kickoff meeting was held at the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory. As a result of this meeting and follow-up communications, a final work plan was developed, and a schedule of laboratory tasks was developed. Work for the remainder of the second quarter of this project focused on sample collection, initiating laboratory tests, and performing literature searchers. The final project partner, the North Dakota Industrial Commission, signed its contract for participation in the project. This effort will focus on the evaluation of coal combustion by-products (CCBs) for their potential to release mercurymore » and other air toxic elements under different controlled laboratory conditions and will investigate the release of these same air toxic elements in select disposal and utilization field settings to understand the impact of various emission control technologies. The information collected will be evaluated and interpreted together with past Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) data and similar data from other studies. Results will be used to determine if mercury release from CCBs, both as currently produced and produced with mercury and other emission controls in place, is a realistic environmental issue. The proposed work will evaluate the impact of mercury and other air toxics on the disposal and/or utilization of CCBs. The project will provide data on the environmental acceptability of CCBs expected to be produced in systems with emission controls for typical disposal and utilization scenarios. The project will develop baseline information on release mechanisms of select elements in both conventional CCBs and modified or experimental CCBs. The modified or experimental CCBs will be selected to represent CCBs from systems that have improved emission controls. Controlling these emissions has high potential to change the chemical characteristics and environmental performance of CCBs. Development of reliable methods to determine the release of mercury from CCBs will provide a means of evaluating the environmental risk associated with CCB management practices. Using appropriate methods to develop a data set of currently produced CCBs and CCBs produced under experimental/simulated conditions will provide a baseline for the CCB industry to understand the impact of various emission control technologies.« less
  • The air toxic elements (ATEs) evaluated in this project were arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, nickel, and selenium. The study included laboratory tasks to develop measurement techniques for mercury and ATE releases, sample characterization, and release experiments. A field task was also performed to measure mercury releases at a field site. Results of laboratory evaluations indicated that: mercury and sometimes selenium are collected with activated carbon (AC) used for mercury emission control and, therefore present at higher concentrations than samples collected without mercury emission controls present. Mercury is stable on CCBs collected from systems both without and with mercury emission controlsmore » present under most conditions tested, with the exception of vapor-phase releases of mercury exposed to elevated temperatures. The presence of carbon either from added AC or from unburned coal can result in mercury being sorbed onto the CCB when exposed to ambient-temperature air. The environmental performance of the mercury captured on AC used as a sorbent for mercury emission control technologies indicated that current CCB management options will continue to be sufficiently protective of the environment, with the potential exception of exposure to elevated temperatures. The environmental performance of the other ATEs investigated indicated that current management options will be appropriate to the CCBs produced using AC in mercury emission controls. Field experiments vapor-phase releases at a CCB disposal site. Results indicated low-level vapor-phase mercury releases, as was generally noted in laboratory experiments for lignite fly ash samples. Laboratory methods were developed to evaluate the potential for mercury releases under several release mechanicals. 48 refs., 21 figs., 76 tabs., 21 apps.« less
  • This study reports on the second phase (Phase II) of USGS research activities in support of DOE contract DE-AC22-95PC95101 ''Toxic Substances From Coal Combustion--A Comprehensive Assessment'', funded under DOE Interagency Agreement DE-AI22-95PC95145. The purpose of the study was to provide a quantitative and semi-quantitative characterization of the modes of occurrence of trace elements in coal samples investigated under Phase II, including (1) Ohio 5/6/7, an Ohio bituminous coal sample blended from the No.5, No.6, and No.7 beds; (2) North Dakota, a lignite sample from the Falkirk Mine, Underwood, ND, and (3) Wyodak, a sub-bituminous coal sample from the Cordero Mine,more » Gillette, WY. Samples from these coal beds were selected for their range in rank and commercial applicability. Results of this research provide basic information on the distribution of elements in Phase II coal samples, information needed for development of a commercial predictive model for trace-element behavior during coal combustion.« less
  • This report addresses the key air toxic emissions likely to emanate from continued and expanded use of domestic coal. It identifies and quantifies those trace elements specified in the US 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, by tabulating selected characterization data on various source coals by region, state, and rank. On the basis of measurements by various researchers, this report also identifies those organic compounds likely to be derived from the coal combustion process (although their formation is highly dependent on specific boiler configurations and operating conditions).