Effects of Sulfur, Nitric Acid, and Thermal Treatments on the Properties and Mercury Adsorption of Activated Carbons from Bituminous Coals

Hsing-Cheng Hsi, Mark J. Rood, Massoud Rostam-Abadi, Yu-Min Chang
2013 Aerosol and Air Quality Research  
The influences of sulfur, HNO 3 , and thermal treatments on the properties and Hg adsorption of activated carbon (AC) derived from bituminous coals were evaluated. These ACs were impregnated with either polysulfide or elemental sulfur at 120, 200, and 600°C. Additional ACs were treated with HNO 3 at 95°C to incorporate oxygen functionalities, and then subjected to temperature-programmed desorption to 950°C to remove surface oxygen groups and create nascent active sites on the AC surface.
more » ... AC surface. Polysulfide and elemental sulfur impregnation at < 200°C did not improve Hg 0 adsorption. However, improvement in HgCl 2 adsorption by up to 97% was observed. Elemental sulfur impregnation at 600°C enhanced Hg 0 and HgCl 2 adsorption by up to 42% and 404%, respectively, for ACs derived from a low-organic-sulfur coal. Improvements in Hg 0 adsorption for ACs from high-organic-sulfur coals were not observed after sulfur impregnation. HNO 3 and thermal treatments reduced Hg-active groups such as sulfur. Oxygen surface groups and the nascent carbon sites appeared to be more reactive towards other flue gas components than Hg, because HNO 3 and thermal treatments led to a reduction in Hg 0 and HgCl 2 adsorption. These results suggest that AC's physical and chemical properties after sulfur treatment influence Hg 0 adsorption, while HgCl 2 adsorption is mainly affected by AC's chemical characteristics.
doi:10.4209/aaqr.2012.07.0177 fatcat:2w2l6ns3zvg25mdmkypoxmkhka