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Measurements of mercury speciation and fine particle size distribution on combustion of China coal seams

The percentage of mercury that is removed in currently used air pollution control devices (APCDs) depends on the speciation in the flue gas exhausting from the coal combustor. Bench-scale measurements were carried out in the flue gas from combustion of different types of coal in a drop-tube furnace set-up to better understand the formation process of three mercury species, i.e. Hg0, Hg2+ and Hgp, in gaseous phase and fine particles. It was observed that due to chemical reaction kinetics limitations, higher mercury concentrations in flue gas lead to lower Hg2+ proportions. The concentration of chlorine has the opposite effect, not as significantly as that of mercury though. With the chlorine concentration increasing, the proportion of Hg2+ increases. Combusting finer sized coal powders results in the formation of more Hg2+. Mineral composition of coal and feed coal particle size has a great impact on fine particle formation. Increased Al in coal results in more finer particle formation, while Fe in coal increases concentration of larger particles. The coexistence of Al and Si can enhance the particle coagulation process. This process is also enhanced at higher coal feed rates, and when feed coal particle sizes are smaller. Results from oxy-coal and conventional air combustion were compared.


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