Mercury emission trend influenced by stringent air pollutants regulation for coal-fired power plants in Korea

Deepak Pudasainee, Jeong Hun Kim, Yong Chil Seo

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Regulatory control of mercury emission from anthropogenic sources has become a global concern in the recent past. Coal-fired power plants are one of the largest sources of anthropogenic mercury emission into the atmosphere. This paper summarizes the current reducing trend of mercury emission as co-beneficial effect by more stringent regulation changes to control primary air pollutants with introducing test results from the commercial coal-fired facilities and suggesting a guideline for future regulatory development in Korea. On average, mercury emission concentrations ranged 16.3-2.7 μg Sm-3, 2.4-1.1 μg Sm-3, 3.1-0.7 μg Sm-3 from anthracite coal-fired power plants equipped with electrostatic precipitator (ESP), bituminous coal-fired power plants with ESP + flue gas desulphurization (FGD) and bituminous coal-fired power plants with selective catalytic reactor (SCR) + cold side (CS) - ESP + wet FGD, respectively. Among the existing air pollution control devices, the best configuration for mercury removal in coal-fired power plants was SCR + CS - ESP + wet FGD, which were installed due to the stringent regulation changes to control primary air pollutants emission such as SO2, NOx and dust. It was estimated that uncontrolled and controlled mercury emission from coal-fired power plants as 10.3 ton yr-1 and 3.2 ton yr-1 respectively. After the installation of ESP, FGD and SCR system, following the enforcement of the stringent regulation, 7.1 ton yr-1 of mercury emission has been reduced (nearly 69%) from coal-fired power plants as a co-benefit control. Based on the overall study, a sample guideline including emission limits were suggested which will be applied to develop a countermeasure for controlling mercury emission from coal-fired power plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6254-6259
Number of pages6
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Nov 2


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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