Mercury adsorption properties of sulfur-impregnated adsorbents

Ng Cheng Hsi, Mark J. Rood, Massoud Rostam-Abadi, Shiaoguo Chen, Ramsay Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carbonaceous and noncarbonaceous adsorbents were impregnated with elemental sulfur to evaluate the chemical and physical properties of the adsorbents and their equilibrium mercury adsorption capacities. Simulated coal combustion flue gas conditions were used to determine the equilibrium adsorption capacities for Hg0 and HgCl2 gases to better understand how to remove mercury from gas streams generated by coal-fired utility power plants. Sulfur was deposited onto the adsorbents by monolayer surface deposition or volume pore filling. Sulfur impregnation increased the total sulfur content and decreased the total and micropore surface areas and pore volumes for all of the adsorbents tested. Adsorbents with sufficient amounts of active adsorption sites and sufficient microporous structure had mercury adsorption capacities up to 4,509 μg Hg/g adsorbent. Elemental sulfur, organic sulfur, and sulfate were formed on the adsorbents during sulfur impregnation. Correlations were established with R2>0.92 between the equilibrium Hg0/HgCl2 adsorption capacities and the mass concentrations of elemental and organic sulfur. This result indicates that elemental and organic sulfur are important active adsorption sites for Hg0 and HgCl2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1080-1089
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Activated carbon
  • Adsorption
  • Combustion
  • Fly ash
  • Mercury
  • Sulfur
  • Zeolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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