The push is on to find a technology that will reduce mercury emissions 90% by 2015 in the state of Michigan – a regulation more stringent than the national standard, which calls for a 70% reduction. They’re hoping a big part of the solution will be Toxecon, a new sysem designed to keep gaseous mercury from escaping wth the rest of the power plant pollutants. While there are still bugs to be worked out, researchers are optomistic about the technology.

Toxecon injects activated, powdery carbon into the superheated gas from coal incineration. The carbon absorbs the mercury and flows into a newly constructed building called a “bag house,” where it’s trapped inside the network of fabric bags.

As a bonus, designers hope the process also will remove up to 70 percent of the sulfur dioxide and 30 percent of the nitrogen oxide from the gas, along with the 1 percent of fly ash from coal combustion that isn’t captured earlier.

There will need to be other technologies implemented to remove the mercury that Toxecan can’t, however, the good news is that power plants seem to be on board with making the mercury reductions happen – even though it’ll be expensive. Plus, more individual states are imposing the stricter standard of 90% rather than the 70% reduction called for by the federal government.
Read the full Yahoo article.