Main content area

Mercury mass flow in iron and steel production process and its implications for mercury emission control

Wang, Fengyang, Wang, Shuxiao, Zhang, Lei, Yang, Hai, Gao, Wei, Wu, Qingru, Hao, Jiming
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2016 v.43 pp. 293-301
air, anthropogenic activities, burning, coal, desulfurization, dolomite, dust, electric furnaces, emissions, emissions factor, flue gas, iron, limestone, mass flow, mercury, ovens, power plants, recycling, steel, China
The iron and steel production process is one of the predominant anthropogenic sources of atmospheric mercury emissions worldwide. In this study, field tests were conducted to study mercury emission characteristics and mass flows at two iron and steel plants in China. It was found that low-sulfur flue gas from sintering machines could contribute up to 41% of the total atmospheric mercury emissions, and desulfurization devices could remarkably help reduce the emissions. Coal gas burning accounted for 17%–49% of the total mercury emissions, and therefore the mercury control of coal gas burning, specifically for the power plant burning coal gas to generate electricity, was significantly important. The emissions from limestone and dolomite production and electric furnaces can contribute 29.3% and 4.2% of the total mercury emissions from iron and steel production. More attention should be paid to mercury emissions from these two processes. Blast furnace dust accounted for 27%–36% of the total mercury output for the whole iron and steel production process. The recycling of blast furnace dust could greatly increase the atmospheric mercury emissions and should not be conducted. The mercury emission factors for the coke oven, sintering machine and blast furnace were 0.039–0.047gHg/ton steel, and for the electric furnace it was 0.021gHg/ton steel. The predominant emission species was oxidized mercury, accounting for 59%–73% of total mercury emissions to air.