Unusual Speciation and Retention of Hg at a Coal-Fired Power Plant

Patricia Cordoba-Sola, M. Maroto-Valer, Carlos Ayora, Ron Perry, Manuela Rallo, Oriol Font, Maria Izquierdo, Xavier Querol

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An unusual and different speciation of Hg in the outgoing gaseous stream of the flue gas desulfurization (OUT-FGD) system was revealed at two Spanish power plants (PP1 and PP2) equipped with a forced oxidation wet FGD system with water recirculation to the scrubber. At PP1 and PP2, a high proportion of Hg escapes from the electrostatic precipitator in gaseous form, Hg2+ (75-86%) being the species that enters the FGD. At PP1 Hg-0 (71%) was the prevalent Hg OUT-FGD species, whereas at PP2 Hg2+ was the prevalent Hg OUT-FGD species in 2007 (66%) and 2008 (87%). The unusual speciation of gaseous Hg OUT-FGD and the different Hg retentions between 2007 and 2008 at PP2 were attributable to the evaporation of HgCl2 particles from the aqueous phase of gypsum slurry in the OUT-FGD gas and the Al additive used at PP2, respectively. The Al additive induced the retention of Hg as HgS in the 2007 FGD gypsum, thus reducing gaseous emissions of Hg in the OUT-FGD gas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7890-7897
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2012


  • FGD

Cite this

Cordoba-Sola, P., Maroto-Valer, M., Ayora, C., Perry, R., Rallo, M., Font, O., Izquierdo, M., & Querol, X. (2012). Unusual Speciation and Retention of Hg at a Coal-Fired Power Plant. Environmental Science and Technology, 46(14), 7890-7897. https://doi.org/10.1021/es301106x