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Biomass gasification chars for mercury capture from a simulated flue gas of coal combustion

AuthorsFuente Cuesta, Aida ; Díaz Somoano, Mercedes ; López Antón, María Antonia ; Cieplik, M.; García Fierro, José Luis ; Martínez Tarazona, María Rosa
Coal combustion
Issue DateMay-2012
CitationJournal of Environmental Management 98: 23-28 (2012)
Abstract[EN] The combustion of coal can result in trace elements, such as mercury, being released from power stations with potentially harmful effects for both human health and the environment. Research is ongoing to develop cost-effective and efficient control technologies for mercury removal from coal-fired power plants, the largest source of anthropogenic mercury emissions. A number of activated carbon sorbents have been demonstrated to be effective for mercury retention in coal combustion power plants. However, more economic alternatives need to be developed. Raw biomass gasification chars could serve as low-cost sorbents for capturing mercury since they are sub-products generated during a thermal conversion process. The aim of this study was to evaluate different biomass gasification chars as mercury sorbents in a simulated coal combustion flue gas. The results were compared with those obtained using a commercial activated carbon. Chars from a mixture of paper and plastic waste showed the highest retention capacity. It was found that not only a high carbon content and a well developed microporosity but also a high chlorine content and a high aluminium content improved the mercury retention capacity of biomass gasification chars. No relationship could be inferred between the surface oxygen functional groups and mercury retention in the char samples evaluated.
Publisher version (URL)http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479711004440
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