A method for removal of mercury from a gaseous stream containing the mercury, hydrogen and/or CO, and hydrogen sulfide and/or carbonyl sulfide in which a dispersed Cu-containing sorbent is contacted with the gaseous stream at a temperature in the range of about 25.degree. C. to about 300.degree. C. until the sorbent is spent. The spent sorbent is contacted with a desorbing gaseous stream at a temperature equal to or higher than the temperature at which the mercury adsorption is carried out, producing a regenerated sorbent and an exhaust gas comprising released mercury. The released mercury in the exhaust gas is captured using a high-capacity sorbent, such as sulfur-impregnated activated carbon, at a temperature less than about 100.degree. C. The regenerated sorbent may then be used to capture additional mercury from the mercury-containing gaseous stream.
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of DOE Contract No. DE-FC26-04NT42312 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.