A Review on Adsorption Technologies for Mercury Emission Control

  • Guoliang Li
  • Qingru WuEmail author
  • Liwen Xu
  • Minneng Wen
  • Kaiyun Liu
  • Yi Tang
  • Jing Zou
  • Fengyang Wang
  • Yu Wang
  • Shuxiao Wang
Focused Review


This study summarized existing adsorption technologies for the removal of elemental mercury in the flue gas. Both carriers (e.g., active carbon (AC), pyrolyzed char, inorganic adsorbents and fly ash) and various modification methods (pore structure improvement, oxygen-containing functional groups addition and new active reagents impregnation) were compared to shed light on the development of future adsorption technology. AC and char possibly performed more mercury adsorption capacity (MAC) compared with fly ash and inorganic adsorbents since carbon atom existence was easier to form the active halogen groups (C–X) and oxygen containing groups. Though both pore structure improvement and chemical group formation improved the MAC of adsorbents, the chemical modification methods (oxygen-containing functional groups addition and new active reagents impregnation) were more effective. The impregnation of halogen, sulfur and metal chloride could distinctly form lots of active sites on the adsorbents and developed high effective mercury adsorbents. In the future, the adsorption researches possibly focus on SO2 and H2O resistance of adsorbents, separable adsorbents, low-cost chemical modification methods, and utilization potential of fly ash.


Mercury absorbents Elemental mercury Modification 



This work was sponsored by National Key Research & Development Plan (2017YFC0210404) and National Science Foundation of China (21625701).

Supplementary material

128_2019_2648_MOESM1_ESM.docx (41 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 73 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of EnvironmentTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Sources and Control of Air Pollution ComplexBeijingChina

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