The mercury (Hg) distribution characteristics were investigated in three primary manganese smelting plants in Korea for the assessment of anthropogenic Hg released. Input and output materials were sampled from each process, and Hg concentrations in the samples were analyzed. Among the input materials, the most mercury was found in the manganese ore (83.1–99.7%) and mercury was mainly released through fly ash or off gas, depending on the condition of off gas cleaning system. As off gas temperature decreases, proportion and concentration of emitted gaseous elemental mercury (Hg0) in off gas decreases. Based on mass balance study from these three plants and national manganese production data, the total amount of mercury released from those Korean plants was estimated to 644 kg/yr. About half of it was emitted into the air while the rest was released to waste as fly ash. With the results of this investigation, national inventory for Hg emission and release could be updated for the response to Minamata Convention on Mercury.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis