A system and method for removing mercury from the flue gas of a coal-fired power plant is described. Mercury removal is by adsorption onto a thermally activated sorbent produced in-situ at the power plant. To obtain the thermally activated sorbent, a lance (thief) is inserted into a location within the combustion zone of the combustion chamber and extracts a mixture of semi-combusted coal and gas. The semi-combusted coal has adsorptive properties suitable for the removal of elemental and oxidized mercury. The mixture of semi-combusted coal and gas is separated into a stream of gas and semi-combusted coal that has been converted to a stream of thermally activated sorbent. The separated stream of gas is recycled to the combustion chamber. The thermally activated sorbent is injected into the duct work of the power plant at a location downstream from the exit port of the combustion chamber. Mercury within the flue gas contacts and adsorbs onto the thermally activated sorbent. The sorbent-mercury combination is removed from the plant by a particulate collection system.
U.S. GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant the employer-employee relationship of the Government to the inventors as U.S. Department of Energy employees at the National Energy Technology Laboratory.