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Abstract Title: The Use, Treatment, Reactivation and Recycling of Activated Carbon Contaminated with Mercury
Presenter Name: David Hunter
Company/Institution: Batrec Industrie AG
Session: Mercury Treatment / Abatement
Day and Session: Monday 25th July - Session One
Start Time: 0600 UTC
Co-Authors: David Hunter

Abstract Information :

Activated carbon is an important tool in removing mercury from the biosphere, as it is used as a filter medium to remove pollutants, including mercury, from large volume liquid and air streams, concentrating them on the carbon substrate.

Often mercury contaminated activated carbon is not recycled. This is due to the fact that it is often impregnated with sulphur in order to capture elemental mercury as HgS and the recycling of these materials can offer unique challenges from high temperatures to specialised off-gas treatment required. These challenges and solutions will be described in detail.

Activated carbon, contaminated with mercury and sulphur is packaged and sent for treatment at Batrec in Switzerland where the pollutants are desorbed thermally and the mercury is condensed and concentrated as a rich sludge. This sludge is then refined to produce pure elemental mercury, which is safely stabilised as part of a separate, physio-chemical process, and disposed of in a German salt mine.

The activated carbon, which is thermally desorbed of all pollutants is regenerated in a unique process, which will be described, allowing it to be returned to use as a filter medium. Carbon often can?t go back to its original use as the sulphur has been removed, so new uses are found for its continued lifecycle or it can be re-impregnated with sulphur. In either case it can be given a new life, avoiding disposal and can continue removing pollutants from the biosphere.

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