How to Design Effective Mercury Capture Systems at Coal-Fired Power Plants

Mercury emissions have become a concern in recent years, particularly in relation to fish contamination in fresh water in the eastern United States. Between 1990 and 1999, man-made mercury emissions in the US decreased by about 50%. Nearly all of the improvement, however, came through reductions in medical and municipal waste incinerator emissions. Mercury is an inherent element in coal, and the emissions from coal-fired power plants decreased by just 4.3% in the same time period. In order to address this situation, the EPA released the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) in early 2005. CAMR establishes standards limiting mercury emissions from both new and existing coal-fired power plants. It also creates a market-based cap and trade program, and comes in two phases.



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