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Mercury Emissions from a Coal-Fired Power Plant and Their Impact on the Nearby Environment

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Volume: 12 | Issue: 4 | Pages: 643-650
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2012.04.0080
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Yee-Lin Wu1,2, Dita Galih Rahmaningrum1, Yi-Chieh Lai 3, Li-Kai Tu1,2, Shin-Je Lee1, Lin-Chi Wang4,5, Guo-Ping Chang-Chien4,5

  • 1 Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, 1 University Road, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
  • 2 Sustainable Environment Research Center, National Cheng Kung University, 1 University Road, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
  • 3 Department of Bioenvironmental Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University, 200 Chung-Pei Road, Chung-Li 32023, Taiwan
  • 4 Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Cheng Shiu University, 840 Chengcing Road, Kaohsiung 83347, Taiwan
  • 5 Super Micro Mass Research and Technology Center, Cheng Shiu University, 840 Chengcing Road, Kaohsiung 83347, Taiwan


This study investigated Hg emissions from a coal-fired power plant (CFPP) and their impact on the nearby environment. Atmospheric Hg concentrations were measured at sampling sites near a CFPP located in central Taiwan from November 2008 to March 2011. The mean gaseous and particulate Hg concentrations were 2.59–4.12 ng/m3 and 105–182 pg/m3, respectively, with gaseous Hg predominant at all sites (approximately 96% of the total atmospheric Hg). The seasonal variations of both gaseous and particle Hg concentrations in the atmosphere showed a similar pattern, with the highest concentrations in the cold season and the lowest in warm season. The mean emission factor of 13.1 mg/ton was found for the CFPP burning bituminous coal, with an electrostatic precipitator (ESP), flue gas desulfurization (FGD), and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) in series as air pollution control devices (APCDs). This figure was significantly lower than that measured at various power facilities, probably due to different fuel type, APCDs configuration, and flue gas condition. The modeling of the Industrial Source Complex Short Term (ISCST) revealed that the contribution of the CFPP to ambient atmospheric Hg was minimal (less than 1%).


Mercury Coal-fired power plant Emission factor Atmospheric emission

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