In October 2020, Guohua Power Company won the 4th National Grand Award for Plant Engineering Innovation Achievements with its “Research and Application of Technology and Equipment for Mercury Removal at Coal-Fired Power Stations Based on the Concept of Circular Economy.” The company was also invited to share the research result online at the “Cloud Seminar on Plant Engineering and Technological Innovation Achievements” sponsored by the China Association of Plant Engineering.
To carry out research on mercury removal technology for coal-fired power stations, Guohua Power pursued independent innovation in the clean and efficient utilization of coal. In 2011, the company set up a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from different age groups for the integration of production, education, research and application. The team made concerted efforts for innovation in tackling the problems with Chinese coal-fired power stations operating in complicated situations with different types of coal and environmental protection technology. The researchers studied and mastered the regular patterns of the transportation, transformation and co-control of mercury in the process of flue gas purification. Based on the concept of circular economy, they put forward the innovative idea for the effective and efficient mercury removal at coal-fired power stations — the integrated mercury removal technology with flying ash, a by-product of coal-fired power stations, for “online modification, uniform injection and instant adsorption.” Based on this idea, they developed highly-efficient and lost-cost flying ash mercury removal technology and complete equipment with independent intellectual property rights. They built the world’s first flying ash mercury removal demonstration project for a 300MW coal-fired power plant, as well as a 1000MW plant, which are over 90 percent effective in mercury removal, with mercury emission concentrations as low as 0.29μg/m3, which is 1 percent of the mercury emission ceiling stipulated by China’s Air Pollutant Emission Standards for Thermal Power Plants (GB13223-2011). The mercury removal technology is in a leading position by meeting the world’s strictest emission standards at a cost 10-15 percent of that of activated carbon injection, the world’s mainstream mercury removal technology.
The successful application of this technology can effectively reduce the emission of mercury into the atmosphere by coal-fired power stations, which will contribute positively to the nation’s efforts for air pollution prevention and control and ecological progress. It also provides a guarantee for China to better implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury in the future and offers a scientific basis for the development of stricter mercury emission standards.