We have pioneered research into ways to reduce mercury emissions from power plants, such as the first full-scale test of activated carbon injection into baghouses for mercury control. And emissions control technologies being installed at our generating plants to reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide have the added benefit of reducing mercury emissions. Mercury actions include:
- Advanced mercury control technology testing with the Department of Energy
- The first mercury controls research test center in the nation
- Supporting research to examine health impacts, deposition and how mercury emissions react in the environment
- Lowering mercury emissions with SCR and scrubber combinations on coal fleet units
Mercury Control Research
The nation's first test center to discover new ways to reduce mercury emissions is located at Gulf Power's Plant Crist generating plant in Pensacola, Fla.
Mercury emissions from power plants amount to the equivalent of about five grains of sand for every ton of coal used. Because of these tiny amounts, finding and capturing the mercury in power plant emissions is difficult.
The Mercury Research Center, which went online in 2005, evaluates five different advanced control technologies, using a portion of the plant's emissions for the research. The $5 million installation includes a selective catalytic reduction unit, a rotary air preheater, a baghouse, an electrostatic precipitator and a wet limestone scrubber. As the research continues, other methods may be discovered and added for further research.
The testing has not only been conducted for Gulf Power and other Southern Company affiliates but also for other companies, environmental research organizations and government scientists.