CEM 2020

CEM 2018 - Abstract

Abstract Title: Future requirements for mercury emission monitoring
Abstract Type: Seminar
Session Choice: Mercury and Trace Metals
Presenter Name: Mr Emilia Jyrkiäinen
Company/Organisation: Gasmet Europe Oy
Country: Finland

Abstract Information :

In this presentation I will discuss the European regulations for industrial emission monitoring. Emphasis is put on recent developments for mercury emission legislation, and how these rules will affect different industries in a few years time.

United Nations Environment Programme has recognized mercury as a chemical of global concern due to its long-range transport in the atmosphere, persistence in the environment, toxicity, ability to bioaccumulate in ecosystems and its harmful effects on human health. Mercury is released into air from a variety of natural sources such as volcanoes, mercury-rich geological zones and forest fires.

However, human activity has increased the amount of mercury in the environment in several ways, including through a variety of combustion and industrial processes like coal-fired power generation, metal mining and smelting, cement production and waste incineration.

In industrial processes, the emissions of heavy metals are generally reduced by the application of high performance dust removal technologies such as electrostatic precipitators or fabric filters. However, mercury is also present in the vapor phase, and with a high vapor pressure at the typical control device operating temperatures, its collection by particulate matter control devices can be challenging.

There is a clear global consensus to lower industrial mercury emissions. Members of the EU approved new air pollution limits for large combustion plants in April 2017 that will require utilities to invest in new pollution abatement technology. This strengthens the requirements of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) (DIRECTIVE 2010/75/EU) for both abatement and monitoring requirements, both of which are addressed in the "Best Available Techniques Conclusions for Large Combustion Plants" (LCP BREF). This conclusion includes new emission limits values (ELVs) for mercury among other pollutants, and requires large power plants in Europe to comply with those limits by 2021.

In July 2017, the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/1442 established best available techniques (BAT) conclusions, under Directive 2010/75/EU for large combustion plants. This included new requirements for mercury abatement and monitoring. BAT-associated emission levels (BAT-AELs) for mercury emissions to air are specified for coal and lignite burning power plants. For example, a new coal-fired power plant with a thermal input over 300MW has a BAT-AEL of <1-2 µg/Nm3 mercury (yearly average), and an existing lignite-fired power station with a thermal input under 300MW has a BAT-AEL of <1-10 µg/Nm3 mercury. Environmental permits will have to be updated to take these into account within four years.

Cement industry is a significant contributor to global industrial mercury emissions to air, because mercury is present at trace levels in both the raw materials and fuel. Mercury is therefore an essential component of emissions control during cement manufacturing process. In the BREF guidance mercury has a BAT-associated emission level of 50 µg/Nm3 for the half-hour average. Current European regulations for Medium Combustion Plants (MCP) (Directive (EU) 2015/2193) does not contain mercury in the emission limit values for MCP. However, many believe that mercury will be included in a future update.