GE claims mercury emissions reduction breakthrough

GE has completed testing of its ThermoPleat Pleated Filter Element (PFE), claiming the technology can reduce mercury emissions from coal by up to 98 per cent.
In a statement, GE said tests conducted by Particulate Control Technologies (PCT) at its Mercury Research Centre (MRC) in Florida, USA, show the new technology will potentially reduce emissions by more than 90 per cent. Until now, coal fired boiler air pollution control operators have been unable to achieve these high levels of mercury scrubbing without costly powdered activated carbon injection.
"Against an uncertain regulatory backdrop, this technology could be a game-changer for plant, environmental and maintenance managers who are looking for smarter, cost-effective upgrades to reduce emissions,” said PCT Technical Advisor Ralph Altman. “The filters performed very well and are so compact that they open up a whole new range of casing designs for both new and retrofit applications.”
The tests by PCT and GE allowed researchers to use the facilities’ unique full-scale testing capabilities to determine the best method for reducing mercury emissions:
By using ThermoPleat elements, GE found that some coal-fired boiler air pollution control operators may be able to capture up to 98 per cent of mercury. The results can occur when the plant lowers the flue gas temperatures, allowing a more efficient utilization of the capture capacity of the unburned carbon in fly ash.
At other flue gas temperatures, ThermoPleat elements may help some coal fired boiler air pollution control operators capture around 75 to 80 per cent of its mercury by inherent loss-on-ignition (LOI) of fly ash. The operator may be able to increase the capture percentage by using powdered activated carbon but at a much lower injection rate than typically used today with standard filter bags—which also can help substantially reduce the yearly operational costs.
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