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The mercury mass flow and emissions of coal-fired power plants in China

To investigate the fate of mercury (Hg) in coal burned at power plants in China, the amount of mercury released to the air, water and solid waste in 2010 were calculated based on the Hg content of coal, coal consumption, application rate of air pollution control devices, and the re-utilization of coal combustion by-products. All the Hg input of power plants came from coal, totally 271.7t (147.1~403.6t) in 2010. In coal-fired power plant, the mercury emitted to air, to byproducts, and to water were 101.3t (44.0~167.1t), 167.4t (84.3~266.3t) and 3.0t (1.2~5.0t), respectively. During the re-utilization of byproducts, the mercury emitted to air, released to soil and stored in products including cement, gypsum wallboard, and fly ash brick were 32.7t (12.5~56.1t), 58.6t (33.6~103.9t), and 76.1t (30.3~108.6t), respectively. The results indicated that cement production and fly ash brick production were two important processes with atmospheric Hg re-emissions, accounting for 81.7% and 15.3% of the total Hg re-emissions.


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