Method selection for mercury removal from hard coal
AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Energy and Fuels, Al. A. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow, Poland
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Mercury is commonly found in coal and the coal utilization processes constitute one of the main sources of mercury emission to the environment. This issue is particularly important for Poland, because the Polish energy production sector is based on brown and hard coal. The forecasts show that this trend in energy production will continue in the coming years. At the time of the emission limits introduction, methods of reducing the mercury emission will have to be implemented in Poland. Mercury emission can be reduced as a result of using coal with a relatively low mercury content. In the case of the absence of such coals, the methods of mercury removal from coal can be implemented. The currently used and developing methods include the coal cleaning process (both the coal washing and the dry deshaling) as well as the thermal pretreatment of coal (mild pyrolysis). The effectiveness of these methods various for different coals, which is caused by the diversity of coal origin, various characteristics of coal and, especially, by the various modes of mercury occurrence in coal. It should be mentioned that the coal cleaning process allows for the removal of mercury occurring in mineral matter, mainly in pyrite. The thermal pretreatment of coal allows for the removal of mercury occurring in organic matter as well as in the inorganic constituents characterized by a low temperature of mercury release. In this paper, the guidelines for the selection of mercury removal method from hard coal were presented. The guidelines were developed taking into consideration: the effectiveness of mercury removal from coal in the process of coal cleaning and thermal pretreatment, the synergy effect resulting from the combination of these processes, the direction of coal utilization as well as the influence of these processes on coal properties.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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