Investigation of a mercury speciation technique for flue gas desulfurization materials.

Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 59(8):972 (2009) PMID 19728491

Most of the synthetic gypsum generated from wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD) scrubbers is currently being used for wallboard production. Because oxidized mercury is readily captured by the wet FGD scrubber, and coal-fired power plants equipped with wet scrubbers desire to benefit from the partial mercury control that these systems provide, some mercury is likely to be bound in with the FGD gypsum and wallboard. In this study, the feasibility of identifying mercury species in the FGD gypsum and wallboard samples was investigated using a large sample size thermal desorption method. Potential candidates of pure mercury standards including mercuric chloride (HgCl2), mercurous chloride (Hg2Cl2), mercury oxide (HgO), mercury sulfide (HgS), and mercuric sulfate (HgSO4) were analyzed to compare their results with those obtained from FGD gypsum and dry wallboard samples. Although any of the thermal evolutionary curves obtained from these pure mercury standards did not exactly match with those of the FGD gypsum and wallboard samples, it was identified that Hg2Cl2 and HgCl2 could be candidates. An additional chlorine analysis from the gypsum and wallboard samples indicated that the chlorine concentrations were approximately 2 orders of magnitude higher than the mercury concentrations, suggesting possible chlorine association with mercury.