Control of mercury emissions: policies, technologies, and future trends
Department of Environmental Engineering, Kyonggi University, Suwon, Republic of Korea
Abstract: Owing to the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the Global Mercury Partnership, policies and regulations on mercury management in advanced countries were intensified by a mercury phaseout program in the mercury control strategy. In developing countries, the legislative or regulatory frameworks on mercury emissions are not established specifically, but mercury management is designed to prevent the emission of mercury. Nevertheless, the scenarios from global mercury observation system reported that mercury emissions from selected anthropogenic sources could be estimated to decrease by about 50% by 2020. Advanced control technologies, which can be classified as hardware and software, can be applied to reduce mercury emission from anthropogenic sources. Among hardware technologies, pretreatment technology may be more important than recovery technology and treatment technology to reduce the mobility and toxicity of the materials containing mercury. Software technologies such as educational programs, monitoring systems, material flow analysis for mercury and mercury compounds, and life-cycle analysis to reduce mercury emissions are important to raise awareness of the significance of emission reduction. Finally, future trends of mercury control technologies and monitoring systems are discussed, along with the change in technical guidelines for the mercury emission control, both locally and globally.
Keywords: mercury source, policy and regulation, management program, control technology, mercury emission
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