Mercury emissions from coal combustion in China

  • David G Streets
  • Jiming Hao
  • Shuxiao Wang
  • Ye Wu


This chapter reviews the magnitude and spatial distribution of mercury emissions from coal combustion in China. Due to the large quantities of coal burned and the relatively low level of technology, particularly in industry, emissions are high. Emissions were stable at about 200-210 Mg during the period 1995-2000, but because of rapid economic growth starting in 2001, mercury emissions grew quickly to a value of 334 Mg in 2005. The annual average growth rate for the period 1995-2005 was 5.1%. The uncertainty in emission estimates is about ±35% (95% confidence intervals). Emissions are concentrated in those provinces with high concentrations of mercury in coal (like Guizhou Province) and provinces in which a lot of coal is burned (like Shanxi Province). Because significant amounts of coal are burned in homes and small industrial facilities, without any kind of emission control at all, emissions of particulate mercury are higher in China than in the developed world; the speciation profile nationwide is: 64% Hg(II), 19% Hg(p), and 17% Hg0. In the future, growth in mercury emissions is expected to be limited by the application of FGD for SO2 control and other advanced technologies. Estimates of emissions are hampered by the lack of comprehensive and reliable emissions testing programs in China.


Coal Combustion Selective Catalytic Reduction Mercury Content Power Sector Coal Consumption 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David G Streets
    • 1
  • Jiming Hao
    • 2
  • Shuxiao Wang
    • 2
  • Ye Wu
    • 2
  1. 1.Argonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA
  2. 2.Tsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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