(103a) Irreversible Capture of Mercury | AIChE

(103a) Irreversible Capture of Mercury


Atwood, D. A. - Presenter, University of Kentucky

There are 1,100 coal-fired electricity generating utilities in the U.S. emitting 48 tons of mercury, a potent neurotoxin, each year. Twenty or more eastern states have either begun, or will begin, regulating Hg emissions from these utilities. A nationwide federal rule is expected by 2013. Thus, there is an immediate need for effective clean-coal technologies that can mitigate mercury release from coal-fired utilities.

For several years now the Atwood group has been working with a set of sulfur-containing compounds designed to bind soft heavy metals through strong, covalent M-S bonds. The best of this group is benzene-1,3-diamidoethanethiol (BDTH2 which is particularly effective for removing the mercuric ion from water. It has been shown to irreversibly bind Hg under a wide range of laboratory conditions, in gold mining effluent, acid mine drainage, for soil-borne mercury, and works for low ppb levels in surface water near former chlor-alkali facilities. Importantly, the resulting BDT-Hg precipitate does not release mercury under either strongly acidic or basic conditions.

This presentation will describe the recent developments in the use of BDTH2 in mercury capture.