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November/December 2009

Flue Gas

Mercury emissions from flue gases in coal-fired power plants are the largest source of atmospheric mercury in the United States, but no standard for determination of mercury adsorption currently exists.

One promising method of controlling these emissions involves the injection of powdered activated carbon into the flue gas. A proposed new ASTM International standard would evaluate the performance of activated carbon for removal of elemental mercury in a simulated flue gas.

WK24211, Guide for Determination of Hg Adsorption Capacity of Powdered Activated Carbons Used for Removal of Hg from Flue Gas, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee D28.04 on Gas Phase Evaluation Tests, part of ASTM International Committee D28 on Activated Carbon.

Larry Brey, lead specialist, 3M Co., and chair of D28.04, says that manufacturers of activated carbons and companies that sell and install mercury emissions control systems to power utilities would be the primary users of WK24211. In addition, utilities might use the standard in evaluating commercially available activated carbons for use in their facilities.

“This is a completely new and potentially very large market for activated carbon and one of great interest to all manufacturers of activated carbons,” says Brey. “This is also important to the environmental and regulatory agencies since coal-fired power plants are a significant contributor to atmospheric mercury emissions.”

Brey notes that all interested parties are invited to participate in the ongoing development of WK24211.


Technical Information: Larry Brey, 3M Co., St. Paul, Minn.

Phone: 651-733-2277

ASTM Staff: Kathleen McClung

Phone: 610-832-9717