• Low-Maintenance High-Sensitivity Hg Monitoring in Waste Incineration and Cement plants

Environmental Laboratory

Low-Maintenance High-Sensitivity Hg Monitoring in Waste Incineration and Cement plants

Mar 31 2015

Ever-lower permissible mercury limits in cement, waste incineration, power generation and other plants with flue gas emissions are meaning operators need to adapt their measuring equipment. The low maintenance SICK MERCEM300Z mercury monitor offers unrivalled measurement capability to meet new European and current USA requirements.

The new European standards limit (EN 15627) for total mercury is currently 50µg/m3 as a half hourly mean value and 30µg/m3 as a daily mean. In the USA the limit is considerably lower, with a 30 day mean of 12.5µg/m3 for existing plant and 4.5µg/m3 for new plant. The new SICK MERCEM300Z mercury analysis system, using a patented new split emission system, has been industry-proven to provide consistently reliable, certified readings even in the 0 to 10µg/m3 range.

High dust loadings, or high concentrations of other flue gas contaminants such as SO2 and HCl, have created considerable problems for conventional mercury analysers used in industry, as opposed to laboratory conditions. As a result, EN 15627 now requires mandatory testing in waste incineration and other plants where an analyser will be used. The SICK MERCEM300Z has easily passed 12 months testing in waste incineration and four months in cement and power generation plants, the first instrument to achieve this. It is currently the only system suitable for use in cement plants.

All elements of the MERCEM300Z are designed for low maintenance continuous operation, without consumables or moving parts. Easily exceeding the minimum requirements of fault-free operation for four weeks, MERCEM300Z achieved three months maintenance intervals in the 0-10µg/m3 measuring range and six months in the 0-45µg/m3 range. The certified mercury gas test procedures only have to be completed every six months, which is a considerable cost saving.

The MERCEM300Z is compatible with the 35 metre gas analysis lines which are used outside Europe, surpassing the conventional 10 metre instrumentation limit and making the SICK unit a more flexible option when considering installation locations. An operating range is -20oC to +50oC also facilitates location.

The principle of the MERCEM300Z is based on thermal conversion of the chemically-bound mercury in the flue gas into free mercury at 900oC. The total mercury content is then determined in the patented hot measurement cell. Based on the Zeeman atomic absorption principle, this exclusively licensed process almost entirely eliminates cross sensitivity due to the influence of other flue gas components (e.g. SO2) as it does not require use of outside reference samples. By not using moving components in the measurements process, another point of failure is eradicated. 

The SICK MERCEM300Z is a compact, all-in-one converter and measurement unit which measures total mercury content of flue gases directly where sampled. Its measurement principle avoids carry-over amalgamation effects, solids conversion, dilution or recombination which can induce errors in conventional technology results. The MERCEM300Z design and construction ensures unequalled sensitivity, excellent consistency and reliability and low maintenance requirements, surpassing any comparable instrument on the market.

For more information on the SICK MERCEM300Z mercury analyser, please contact Paul Morgan on 01727 831121 or email.


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