Speciation of mercury in fly ashes by temperature programmed decomposition

M. Antonia Lopez-Anton*, Ron Perry, Patricia Abad-Valle, Mercedes Diaz-Somoano, M. Rosa Martinez-Tarazona, M Mercedes Maroto-Valer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (SciVal)


Mercury (Hg) is a toxic trace element which is emitted mostly in gas phase during coal combustion, although some Hg compounds may be retained in the fly ashes depending on the characteristics of the ashes and process conditions. To improve the retention of Hg in the fly ashes a good knowledge of the capture mechanism and Hg species present in the fly ashes is essential. The temperature programmed decomposition technique was chosen to identify the Hg species present in fly ashes obtained from two Pulverized Coal Combustion (PCC) plants and a Fluidized Bed Combustion (FBC) plant. The fly ashes were then used as Hg sorbents in a simulated flue gas of coal combustion and gasification. The Hg compounds found in the fly ash from the FBC plant after elemental mercury retention were mainly HgCl(2) and HgSO(4). The Hg species present in the two fly ashes from the two PCC plants were HgCl(2) and Hg(0). The Hg species formed in the coal gasification atmosphere was HgS for all three fly ashes. The only Hg compound identified in the fly ashes after the retention of mercury chloride was HgCl(2). (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-711
Number of pages5
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Speciation
  • COAL
  • Fly ashes
  • Mercury


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