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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front.Environ.Sci.Eng.    2014, Vol. 8 Issue (5) : 631-649     https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-014-0673-x
FEATURE ARTICLE |
A review of atmospheric mercury emissions, pollution and control in China
Shuxiao WANG1,2,*(),Lei ZHANG1,Long WANG1,Qingru WU1,Fengyang WANG1,Jiming HAO1,2
1. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2. State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Sources and Control of Air Pollution Complex, Beijing 100084, China
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Abstract

Mercury, as a global pollutant, has significant impacts on the environment and human health. The current state of atmospheric mercury emissions, pollution and control in China is comprehensively reviewed in this paper. With about 500–800 t of anthropogenic mercury emissions, China contributes 25%–40% to the global mercury emissions. The dominant mercury emission sources in China are coal combustion, non-ferrous metal smelting, cement production and iron and steel production. The mercury emissions from natural sources in China are equivalent to the anthropogenic mercury emissions. The atmospheric mercury concentration in China is about 2–10 times the background level of North Hemisphere. The mercury deposition fluxes in remote areas in China are usually in the range of 10–50 μg∙m-2∙yr-1. To reduce mercury emissions, legislations have been enacted for power plants, non-ferrous metal smelters and waste incinerators. Currently mercury contented in the flue gas is mainly removed through existing air pollution control devices for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particles. Dedicated mercury control technologies are required in the future to further mitigate the mercury emissions in China.

Keywords atmospheric mercury      emissions      pollution      control      China     
Corresponding Authors: Shuxiao WANG   
Issue Date: 20 June 2014
 Cite this article:   
Shuxiao WANG,Lei ZHANG,Long WANG, et al. A review of atmospheric mercury emissions, pollution and control in China[J]. Front.Environ.Sci.Eng., 2014, 8(5): 631-649.
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http://journal.hep.com.cn/fese/EN/10.1007/s11783-014-0673-x
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fese/EN/Y2014/V8/I5/631
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Shuxiao WANG
Lei ZHANG
Long WANG
Qingru WU
Fengyang WANG
Jiming HAO
inventory yearsource typeamount/tuncertaintyReference
1999anthropogenic sources536±44%Streets et al. [11]
2000anthropogenic sources605-Pacyna et al. [12]
2003a)anthropogenic sources696±44%Wu et al. [10]
2005anthropogenic sources825±40%Pacyna et al. [13]
2007anthropogenic sources609±30%b)Pirrone et al. [15]
1994coal combustion296-Feng and Hong [16]
1995coal combustion214-Wang et al. [17]
2000coal combustion162c)220c)-Jiang et al. [18]
2007d)coal combustion306-Tian et al. [19]
2010coal combustion254( - 34%, + 44%)Zhang [20]
2003e)non-coal sources393Wang et al. [21]
2005non-ferrous metal smelting83.2Hylander and Herbert [22]
2006f)zinc smelting104.2Li et al. [23]
2006zinc smelting107.7Yin et al. [24]
2010g)non-ferrous metal smelting72.5±85%Wu et al. [25]
Tab.1  Studies on the atmospheric mercury emissions from anthropogenic sources in China
ProvinceZhanget al.[37]Zhenget al.[33]Renet al.[32]Streetset al.[11]USGS[31]Huang& Yang[29]Wanget al.[27]
Anhui0.20(9)0.210.46(50)0.260.19(11)0.260.22
Beijing0.340.10(1)0.440.55(1)0.34
Chongqing0.41(5)0.64(12)0.15(7)
Fujian0.080.07(3)
Gansu0.18(2)1.35(1)0.050.05(5)
Guangdong0.10(1)0.150.06(2)
Guangxi0.300.35(5)
Guizhou0.21(30)1.140.70(133)0.520.20(16)0.52
Hainan0.15
Hebei0.17(9)0.460.16(33)0.140.14(15)0.800.13
Heilongjiang0.03(10)0.130.12(14)0.090.06(10)0.140.12
Henan0.14(10)0.170.14(115)0.250.21(27)0.170.30
Hubei0.23(1)0.160.16(3)
Hunan0.070.08(14)0.100.14(10)0.07
Inner Mongolia0.18(30)0.160.17(14)0.220.16(16)0.020.28
Jiangsu0.18(5)0.090.18(10)0.160.35(6)0.09
Jiangxi0.160.13(4)0.220.27(7)0.16
Jilin0.340.34(2)0.200.07(5)0.33
Liaoning0.10(10)0.170.14(16)0.170.19(9)0.130.20
Ningxia0.28(19)0.200.21(4)
Qinghai0.31(4)0.040.04(1)
Shaanxi0.25(17)0.640.30(3)0.110.14(11)0.080.16
Shandong0.16(14)0.280.18(11)0.180.13(19)0.210.17
Shanghai
Shanxi0.080.17(79)0.160.15(88)0.200.22
Sichuan0.34(4)0.180.35(14)0.140.09(11)
Tianjin0.18
Xinjiang0.02(12)0.030.09(6)0.020.03(6)0.03
Xizang
Yunnan0.08(10)0.300.32(56)0.290.14(7)0.34
Zhejiang0.75(2)0.35
National0.17(177)0.190.33(619)0.190.16(305)0.150.22
Tab.2  Mercury content of raw coal in China by province/autonomous/municipalities (mg∙kg-1)
BituminousAnthracitelignitesubbituminous
PC+ ESP29(42)22(4)38(6)27(11)
PC+ ESP+ WFGD63(14)81(1)65(1)50(3)
PC+ FF66(8)73(2)
PC+ WS12(1)33(1)
PC+ SCR+ ESP+ WFGD69(4)
PC+ FF+ WFGD90(2)
PC+ SDA+ FF99(1)66(1)13(1)
PC+ SDA+ ESP70(1)
PC+ ESP+ CFB-FGD+ FF68(1)
PC+ SCR+ SDA+ FF98(2)
PC+ NID+ ESP90(1)
PC+ SNCR+ ESP83(1)
CFB+ ESP99(1)61(2)
CFB+ FF100(2)59(1)
CFB+ SNCR+ FF89(1)79(1)
SF+ WS16(4)59(1)
SF+ FF+ WFGD77(1)
BB+ WS19(1)
Tab.3  Mercury removal efficiencies of air pollution control devices (APCDs) in coal-fired power plants (%)
provinceZincleadcopper
Wu et al. [25]Yin et al. [24]Song et al. [65]Wu et al. [25]Wu et al. [25]
Anhui4.10(1)4.10(1)4.10(1)14.66(2)0.34(4)
Chongqing114.91(1)
Fujian0.54(11)0.54(4)0.52(10)12.63(4)
Gansu499.91(9)132.57(6)499.91(9)10.77(3)2.86(4)
Guangdong72.16(3)6.21(4)85.96(3)43.75(3)0.05(1)
Guangxi9.34(9)9.09(7)2.87(4)10.13(12)0.62(3)
Guizhou2.13(1)
Hebei0.39(1)
Heilongjiang7(1)25.67(1)
Henan4.96(4)13.54(1)7.68(3)2.25(7)
Hubei0.76(1)6.86(1)0.99(6)
Hunan4.72(26)3.17(9)3.74(12)1.31(11)
Inner Mongolia2.16(6)4.22(2)2.28(5)62.21(4)1.84(2)
Jiangsu13.29(2)1.64(2)13.29(2)18.61(3)0.06(1)
Jiangxi1.47(10)1.55(5)1.88(9)19.51(1)4.66(7)
Jilin10.00(1)55.58(2)
Liaoning43.17(4)61.04(6)
Qinghai27.79(2)0.6(3)1.77(1)
Shaanxi240.77(12)50.31(2)233.07(10)45.14(3)
Shandong1.55(1)4.92(1)1.5(1)
Shanghai
Shanxi52.17(1)0.14(3)
Sichuan45.55(10)15.13(4)20.71(3)26.46(5)2.15(3)
Xinjiang16.86(3)4.25(5)6.86(2)2.02(7)
Xizang0.23(1)0.23(1)0.02(1)
Yunnan10.98(6)4.51(7)11.82(5)21.54(3)13.68(12)
Zhejiang0.88(5)14.51(3)1.17(3)20.96(5)
national9.74(118)7.34(82)4.35(73)10.29(83)2.87(55)
Tab.4  Mercury content of non-ferrous metal concentrates in China by province/autonomous/municipalities (mg∙kg-1)
Fig.1  Gridded natural emissions from the Asian domain in January, April, July and October, 2005
locationtypeTGM/(ng∙m-3)PBM/(pg∙m-3)RGM/(pg∙m-3)reference
Guiyangurban8.4Feng et al. [86]
Changchunurban18.4276Fang et al. [88]
Beijingurban7.91180Wang et al. [89]
Guangzhouurban13.5368Wang et al. [89]
Chongqingurban6.7Yang et al. [90]
Guiyangurban9.736835.7Fu et al. [87]
Shanghaiurban2.7Friedli et al. [91]
Ningbourban3.8Nguyen et al. [92]
Nanjingurban7.9Zhu et al. [93]
Changchunrural11.7109Fang et al. [88]
Yangtze River Deltarural5.4Wang et al. [89]
Miyun, Beijingrural3.2988.9Zhang et al., unpublished
Chongming, Shanghairural2.7228.0Dou [107]
Mt. Changbairmote3.67765Wan et al. [96,97]
Mt. Changbairemote1.6Fu et al. [98]
Mt. Gonggaremote4.0316.2Fu et al. [94,95]
Mt. Leigongremote2.8Fu et al. [99]
South China Searemote2.6Fu et al. [100]
Mt. Waliguanremote2.0197.4Fu et al. [101]
Chengshantou, Weihairemote2.3Ci et al. [102]
Yellow Searemote2.6Ci et al. [103]
Pearl River Deltaremote2.9Li et al. [104]
Shangri-Laremote2.6448.2Zhang [105]
Tab.5  Summary of atmospheric mercury monitoring studies in China
locationlocation typedeposition typeconcentration /(ng∙L-1)deposition flux /(μg∙m-2∙yr-1)reference
Shenchong, Guizhoupollutedprecipitation50329.1Dai et al. [111]
Shenchong, Guizhoupolluteddry deposition379Dai et al. [111]
Dashuixi, Guizhoupollutedprecipitation81468.8Dai et al. [111]
Dashuixi, Guizhoupolluteddry deposition2614Dai et al. [111]
Supeng, Guizhoupollutedprecipitation7490593Dai et al. [111]
Supeng, Guizhoupolluteddry deposition6178Dai et al. [111]
Changchunurbanprecipitation345152Fang et al. [88]
Changchunurbandry deposition166Fang et al. [88]
Changchunruralprecipitation13963.7Fang et al. [88]
Changchunruraldry deposition98.1Fang et al. [88]
Wujiang, Guizhoururalprecipitation36.034.7Guo et al. [112]
Tieshanping, Chongqingruralprecipitation55.367.3Wang et al. [108]
Tieshanping, Chongqingruralthroughfall98.9140Wang et al. [108]
Tieshanping, Chongqingrurallitterfall105221Wang et al. [108]
Luchongguan, Guizhoururalthroughfall83.651.1Wang et al. [108]
Mt. Gonggaremoteprecipitation9.99.1Fu et al. [95]
Mt. Changbairemoteprecipitation13.48.4Wan et al. [97]
Mt. Leigongremoteprecipitation19.522.4Wang et al. [108]
Mt. Leigongremotethroughfall54.246.4Wang et al. [108]
Mt. Leigongremotelitterfall13578.0Wang et al. [108]
Mt. Leigongremoteprecipitation4.06.1Fu et al. [99]
Mt. Leigongremotethroughfall8.910.5Fu et al. [99]
Mt. Leigongremotelitterfall9139.5Fu et al. [99]
Mt. Gonggaremoteprecipitation14.326.1Fu et al. [109]
Mt. Gonggaremotethroughfall40.457.0Fu et al. [109]
Mt. Gonggaremotelitterfall35.735.5Fu et al. [109]
Nam Co, Tibetremoteprecipitation4.81.75Huang et al. [110]
Tab.6  Summary of atmospheric mercury deposition fluxes in China
ChinaEUUS
Hgnew and existing plants0.030.03 (A German standard only)new: 0.001 (bituminous, gangue), 0.005 (lignite)
existing: 0.002 (bituminous, gangue), 0.006 (lignite)
Particlenew and existing plants3050, with an exception of 100 for low quality coal (eg lignite)22.5
SO2new plants100200160 (built after 2005)
existing plants (28 provinces)200400160 (built between 1997 and 2005)
existing plants (4 provinces with high sulfur coal)400640 (built between 1978 and 1996)
NOxnew plants100500 until 12/31/2015, then 200117
existing Plants(defined in China as built 1/1/04-12/3/11)(defined in US as built after 2/28/05)100500 until 12/31/2015, then 200117
existing Plants(defined in China as built before 1/1/04)(defined in US as built before 2/28/05)200500 until 12/31/2015, then 200160 (built between 1997 and 2005)
Tab.7  China, EU, and US Coal-fired power plant standards
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