S18 United Nations Environment Programme Global Mercury Partnership

Monday, 25 July, 2011

MS18-P1 — 11:00-12:00 and 17:30-18:30
Authors: KOLKER, Allan1, TEWALT, Susan J.2, BELKIN, Harvey E.2, FINKELMAN, Robert B.3, OLEA, Ricardo A.2, TRIPPI, Michael H.2
(1) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Reston, VA , akolker@usgs.gov; (2) USGS; (3) The University of Texas at Dallas;

A newly released USGS database, the World Coal Quality Inventory (Tewalt et al., 2010, http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1196/) provides mercury, chlorine, and other coal quality determinations on a dry, whole coal basis for 1,580 coal samples representing 57 countries. Together with the USGS database of 7,430 U.S. coal samples (Bragg et al., 1997; mean 0.17 ppm mercury), USGS databases provide a means to 1) compare coals produced in different countries, analyzed by common methods; 2) compare selected raw vs. cleaned coals, and 3) identify future sampling needs.

Four countries, China, India, Russia, and South Africa, have the highest priority identified by the United Nations Environment Programme for additional data to assess mercury input and/or emissions from coal use. The World Coal Quality Inventory includes limited results for each of these countries. Results for China and South Africa give provisional country-wide estimates for in-ground coals. For China, the database includes 328 samples representing an estimated 80% of production at the time of sampling. These samples give a mean of 0.17 ppm and a median of 0.12 ppm, comparable to means reported by Zhang et al., 2009 (9th ICMGP; 0.18 ppm; ~900 samples) and Zheng et al., 2007 (STOTEN, v. 384; 0.19 ppm; 1,699 samples). In each case, the mean is influenced by the proportion of mercury enriched samples from Guizhou Province.

For South Africa, the USGS database includes 40 samples collected throughout the country, giving a mean mercury content of 0.16 ppm and a median of 0.11 ppm, with sample locations and colliery names remaining confidential. For India and Russia, samples were collected in specific study areas and do NOT represent country-wide averages. For India (107 samples), samples are from the Sohagpur Basin, an important Carboniferous coal basin, together with reconnaissance sampling of Tertiary coals having more limited commercial use. Additional sampling is required to determine an overall mercury content for Indian coals and assess the effectiveness of coal washing to reduce mercury. For Russia (12 samples), sampling is limited to the Siberian Kuznetsk Basin, the most important coal producing and export area. These samples give a mean of 0.06 ppm mercury, within the 90% confidence interval (0.05 to 0.13 ppm) for the mean of 40 Kuznetsk Basin mine averages, reported by the Arctic Council (ACAP, 2005). USGS results provide a starting point for more focused studies sponsored by UNEP.

MS18-P2 — 11:00-12:00 and 17:30-18:30
Authors: PUDASAINEE, Deepak 1, SEO, Yong-Chil1, JUNG, Seung-Jae 1, KIM , Jeong-Hun1, PARK, Jung-Min 2, HONG, Ji-Hyung 2
(1) Yonsei University, S. Korea, deepu003@hotmail.com; (2) National Institute of Environmental Research, S. Korea;

Mercury pollution is a global environmental problem. Mercury from anthropogenic sources is released into the different environmental media. Due to its toxicity, controlling mercury release from anthropogenic sources has been prioritized worldwide. The broad objective of this study was to have a national inventory of mercury releases into all media (air, water, land, products, and wastes) in order to develop regulatory and the management guideline in Republic of Korea. Mercury release inventory was developed firstly by using “United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Toolkit”. Secondly, emission into the atmosphere was estimated based on the real measurements at the facilities in operation. Total mercury release, release from each sectors and distribution into air, water, land, impurity in products, general waste, sector specific treatment/disposal were estimated. More than half of the mercury was released into the air followed by sector specific waste treatment/disposal, by-products and impurities, land, general waste, water. The most important categories of mercury release were primary metal production, waste incineration, extraction and use of fuels/energy sources. Whereas contribution from other sources such as production of other minerals and materials with mercury impurities, consumer products with intentional use of mercury, crematoria and cemeteries, production of recycled metals etc. were less. Mercury emission into atmosphere from real facilities was estimated with mass balance study. Emission factors and total emission from each source types were estimated. The annual Hg emission into the atmosphere for the year 2007 from major anthropogenic sources ranged 6.5 to 20.2 tons, with average emission of 12.8 tons. Annual mercury emission was contributed by thermal power plants (26%), oil refineries (25%), cement kilns (21%), hospital/medical/ infectious waste incinerators (9%), iron manufacturing (7%), and sludge incinerators (5%) other sources (crematory, pulp and paper manufacturing, non ferrous metals manufacturing, and mobile sources) was 7%. Further, total input of mercury and releases into all media (air, water, land, products, and wastes) will be quantified and its fate in the environment will be discussed.

MS18-P3 — 11:00-12:00 and 17:30-18:30
Authors: FORTE, Rey1, RYAN, Jeff1, JOHNSON, Travis1
(1) US EPA, Forte.Reynaldo@epamail.epa.gov

The mobile mercury monitoring toolkit is a mobile laboratory, including instruments and protocols, to accurately measure mercury in fuel, ash, control byproducts, flue gas, and other effluents at coal combustion sources. The toolkit gives researchers and regulators the analytical tools necessary to conduct cost-effective and timely measurements that can aid the development of plant-specific emissions factors, emissions inventories, and co-benefit assessments.

Sorbent traps are used to sample flue gas emissions. The sorbent and other solids (e.g., coal, ash) from the combustion source are analyzed using thermal desorption to measure the mercury content of the source’s inputs and outputs. These measurements, combined with process information (e.g., fuel calorific value and feed rate), are used to calculate total mercury mass emissions and mass emissions per unit of heat input (i.e., kg/trillion Btu, kg/petajoule).

EPA developed the toolkit protocols to support U.S. domestic programs, but the instruments and protocols can easily be applied to coal combustion sources in other countries. Because many countries have a need for robust mercury emission inventories that can be completed at comparatively low costs over a short period (e.g., within one or two days for a facility), EPA believes the toolkit has broad applicability around the globe. UNEP-sponsored projects have deployed the toolkit in several countries, including Russia and South Africa, to successfully measure mercury emissions from large coal-fired power plants.

MS18-P4 — 11:00-12:00 and 17:30-18:30
Authors: JOZEWICZ, Wojciech1, SLOSS, Lesley2, FUTSAETER, Gunnar3
(1)Arcadis, wojciech.jozewicz@arcadis-us.com; (2) IEA Clean Coal Centre; (3) UNEP.

The Global Mercury Partnership is the main mechanism for the delivery of immediate actions on mercury during the negotiation process leading to a legally binding instrument on mercury. One of the partnership areas is the “Reduction of Mercury Releases from Coal Combustion.” This partnership area is currently implementing the project on “Reducing Mercury Emissions from Coal Combustion in the Energy Sector.” The project has produced UNEP’s Process Optimization Guidance (POG) summarizing practices capable of providing reduction of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. The POG is a written guidance tool to help determine the approaches to control mercury emissions. It is a tool for individual coal-fired power plants, allowing for a preliminary selection of a mercury control strategy. The POG was presented to government agencies in three selected countries: South Africa, Russia, and China, to promote mercury emission control approaches.

Coal combustion in power plants and industrial boilers was responsible for 26 percent of global anthropogenic emissions of mercury in 2005. Therefore, approaches summarized in the POG have the potential to significantly reduce global emissions of mercury. These approaches are often a co-benefit of reducing emissions of other pollutants such as particulates, SO2 and NOX. In addition to the co-benefit removal, mercury-specific control processes should be considered, depending on the amount of mercury emission reduction desired. The approaches described in the POG include energy efficiency improvement, pre-combustion control/prevention measures, maximization of mercury emission control from plants with existing emission control technologies for other pollutants, and multipollutant control processes.

The POG introduces the “Decision Tree,” a methodology to guide the reader through a preliminary selection process towards the most appropriate mercury control strategy. The Decision Tree takes into account the existing control equipment configuration for other pollutants (e.g., sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, or particulate matter) as well as its operation. Based on the results of the Decision Tree analysis, the user is guided towards a preliminary selection of mercury control technologies, including mercury-specific technologies, which are most appropriate to their plant.

MS18-P5 — 11:00-12:00 and 17:30-18:30
Authors: DAVIS, Kenneth1, BAILEY, Marianne1
(1) United States Environmental Protection Agency, davis.kennethj@epa.gov

The mercury-cell process is one process used by the chlor-alkali sector to produce chlorine and caustic soda. This technology currently represents approximately 20% of global chlor-alkali production. Mercury cell chlor-alkali production (MCCAP) remains a significant user of mercury and is a relevant source of mercury releases to the environment. Mercury cell facilities that close or convert to non-mercury cell technologies also have significant amounts of surplus mercury, which requires environmentally-sound long-term management. In general, the number of MCCAP facilities is on the decline, consistent with the end of the economic life of these facilities. Consistent with the overall goal of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership, the objective of the chlor-alkali partnership area is to significantly minimize and where feasible eliminate global mercury releases to air, water, and land that may occur from chlor-alkali production facilities.

MS18-P6 — 11:00-12:00 and 17:30-18:30
Authors: CORBITT, Elizabeth S1, JACOB, Daniel J1, HOLMES, Chris D2, STREETS, David G3, SUNDERLAND, Elsie M4
(1) Harvard University, corbitt@seas.harvard.edu; (2) University of California, Irvine; (3) Argonne National Laboratory; (4) Harvard School of Public Health.

Emissions of mercury to the atmosphere from human activities are expected to stay constant (best case) or increase up to 126% (worst case) in projections for the year 2050 based on Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change scenarios of future development (Streets et al. 2009). Here we use four mercury emissions scenarios representing a range of assumptions about economic growth and regulatory controls to drive a 3-D global simulation of mercury in the atmosphere, land, and surface ocean.

Globally, the greatest increase in future mercury deposition occurs in Asia, due predominantly to regional coal-fired power plants. Mean deposition to Asia increases by 7% to 54% depending on scenario. In the United States, deposition differences across scenarios are most pronounced near industrial and power plant sources, e.g. in the Ohio River Valley, where mean deposition declines by 23% in the best case, but increases by 54% in the worst case.

Our results show that regional sources make up a greater proportion of mercury deposition in 2050 due to the increase in HgII as a fraction of total global emissions. For example, in the worst-case emissions scenario, the fraction of mercury deposition from regional sources (fd) increases everywhere, and exceeds 80% in heavily impacted areas in India and China. Some remote regions are still dominated by global sources, as fdnever surpasses 5% in most of Canada, central Africa, or western Australia. The six-month lifetime of Hg0 results in a hemispherically, but not globally, well-mixed background of atmospheric mercury. We examine how recycling in the surface ocean extends the influence of sources to distant receptors. We characterize the sources of mercury deposited to a region and map the fate of mercury emitted from the region. We note that some developing regions, such as Central America, the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia, switch from net importers to exporters of anthropogenic mercury deposition in 2050.

We present a simplified linear relationship based on model outputs to predict mean regional mercury deposition from regional and global emissions of Hg0 and HgII. Overall, the results of our study show that a global treaty on mercury negotiated in the United Nations Environment Programme would be important for future mercury deposition even in regions already enacting emissions reductions. Emission controls on HgII are most important for deposition locally and for regions with near upwind neighbors, such as eastern Europe and southeastern Asia.

MS18-P7 — 11:00-12:00 and 17:30-18:30
Authors: BANK, Michael1, MOZUR, Michael2, VIGON, Bruce2
(1) Harvard University, School of Public Health, mbank@hsph.harvard.edu; (2) Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry;

Mercury deposition and contamination is widespread and well-documented and continues to be a public-health issue of concern for certain sectors of the global human population. In early 2013 the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) internationally binding treaty on the control of mercury will be signed. Documentation of the pervasiveness of this contaminant is a first step toward understanding the potential environmental health and ecological implications of mercury pollution and will be critical to the success of the UNEP program. Identifying broad scale distribution patterns of mercury bioaccumulation can convey to regulators that certain ecosystems may be degraded and require development of policies and regulations that may reduce mercury emissions, and ultimately, improve air and water quality. A more synthesized, holistic, perspective on the mechanisms related to aquatic and terrestrial biogeochemistry linkages of fate, transport, and bioavailability of mercury in aquatic ecosystems will result from long term, multi-ecosystem monitoring programs coupled with process-oriented research questions. Here we identify UNEP partnership goals, key topics, and highlight recent and relevant scientific and mercury policy advances in the field. SETAC is particularly looking to promote advances in mercury isotope chemistry, new mercury source apportionment models, and a well-defined Environmental Risk Assessment protocol for mercury. Additionally, we outline the necessary steps for advancing and developing SETAC’s contributions to the partnership and discuss methods for identifying clear and measureable objectives.

Monday, 25 July, 2011