Mercury adsorption and re-emission inhibition from actual WFGD wastewater using sulfur-containing activated carbon

Che Jung Hsu, Hsin Jin Chiou, Yun Hsin Chen, Kuen Song Lin, Mark J. Rood, Hsing Cheng Hsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A series of batch experiments were conducted to obtain the optimal adsorption condition for removing aqueous Hg from actual lime-based wet flue gas desulfurization (WFGD) wastewater with sulfur-containing activated carbon (SAC). The experimental results showed that SAC1 had an average 0.32 μg mg−1 larger aqueous Hg adsorption capacity and 21% larger Hg removal than the CS2-treated SAC1 (i.e., SAC2) in all tested pH values, confirming that greater sulfur content associated with effective sulfur functional group (i.e., elemental S) caused the larger Hg adsorption capacity. Furthermore, as increasing pH from 4 to 7, the Hg adsorption capacity of SAC1 decreased by 22% (i.e., 0.27 μg mg−1). The equilibrium Hg adsorption capacity was well fitted with linear and Freundlich adsorption isotherms. Kinetic simulations showed that both pseudo-second order and Elovich equations could well describe the chemisorption behavior of Hg to SAC1. Thermodynamic parameter calculation confirmed that Hg adsorption by SAC1 was thermodynamically spontaneous and exothermic. Re-emission of gaseous Hg markedly decreased by 88% as SO3 2- addition increased from 0 to 0.01 mM. Notably, by the addition of SAC1, zero re-emission of gaseous Hg was achieved. These experimental results confirm that the capture of aqueous Hg2+ and the inhibition of gaseous Hg0 re-emission can be successfully and simultaneously achieved in actual WFGD wastewater via the addition of SAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-328
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Coal-fired power plant
  • Mercury
  • Re-emission
  • Sulfurized activated carbon
  • Wet flue gas desulfurization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mercury adsorption and re-emission inhibition from actual WFGD wastewater using sulfur-containing activated carbon'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this