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Preliminary Cost and Performance Models for Mercury Control at Coal-Fired Power Plants

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journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2001, 00:00 by Michael B. Berkenpas, Edward RubinEdward Rubin, Dennis N. Smith, Gerst A. Gibbon
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it will regulate mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, with proposed regulations to be issued in 2003. The feasibility and cost of achieving mercury emission reductions is thus a subject of considerable current interest. To assess mercury control options, the Integrated Environmental Control Model (IECM) developed for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) has been expanded to include performance and cost models for a variety of mercury control options. These preliminary models are based on a review of recent mercury information collection request (ICR) data, and on the results of pilot plant studies and other data sources employing carbon injection with and without flue gas humidification. Illustrative results using the IECM show that the feasibility and cost of achieving different levels of mercury reduction depend strongly on the fuel type and power plant configuration. In most cases, the presence of a flue gas desulfurization (FGD) unit or a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system can have a significant (beneficial) impact on mercury removal efficiency and cost. However, because of limitations on the scale and coverage of available data, there is considerable uncertainty in current estimates of mercury control costs and capabilities. Current models and estimates will be refined as new data become available from on- going programs.




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