Mercury emission and adsorption characteristics of fly ash in PC and CFB boilers
The mercury emission was obtained by measuring the mercury contents in flue gas and solid samples in pulverized coal (PC) and circulating fluidized bed (CFB) utility boilers. The relationship was obtained between the mercury emission and adsorption characteristics of fly ash. The parameters included unburned carbon content, particle size, and pore structure of fly ash. The results showed that the majority of mercury released to the atmosphere with the flue gas in PC boiler, while the mercury was enriched in fly ash and captured by the precipitator in CFB boiler. The coal factor was proposed to characterize the impact of coal property on mercury emissions in this paper. As the coal factor increased, the mercury emission to the atmosphere decreased. It was also found that the mercury content of fly ash in the CFB boiler was ten times higher than that in the PC boiler. As the unburned carbon content increased, the mercury adsorbed increased. The capacity of adsorbing mercury by fly ash was directly related to the particle size. The particle size corresponding to the highest content of mercury, which was about 560 ng/g, appeared in the range from 77.5 to 106 µm. The content of mesoporous (4–6 nm) of the fly ash in the particle size of 77.5–106 µm was the highest, which was beneficial to adsorbing the mercury. The specific surface area played a more significant role than specific pore volume in the mercury adsorption process.