Updated atmospheric speciated mercury emissions from iron and steel production in China during 2000–2015
Abstract. Iron and steel production (ISP) is one of the significant atmospheric Hg emission sources in China. Atmospheric mercury (Hg) emissions from ISP during 2000–2015 were estimated by using a technology-based emission factor method. To support the application of this method, databases of Hg concentrations in raw materials, technology development trends, and Hg removal efficiencies of air pollution control devices (APCDs) were constructed through national sampling and literature review. Hg input to ISP increased from 21.6 t in 2000 to 94.5 t in 2015. In the various types of raw materials, coking coal and iron concentrates contributed 35–46 and 25–32 % of the total Hg input. Atmospheric Hg emissions from ISP increased from 11.5 t in 2000 to 32.7 t in 2015 with a peak of 35.6 t in 2013. Pollution control promoted the increase in average Hg removal efficiency, from 47 % in 2000 to 65 % in 2015. During the study period, sinter/pellet plants and blast furnaces were the largest two emission processes. However, emissions from roasting plants and coke ovens cannot be ignored, which accounted for 22–34 % of ISP's emissions. Overall, Hg speciation shifted from 50/44/6 (gaseous elemental Hg (Hg0)/gaseous oxidized Hg (HgII)/particulate-bound Hg (Hgp)) in 2000 to 40/59/1 in 2015, which indicated a higher proportion of Hg deposition around the emission points. Future emissions of ISP were expected to decrease based on the comprehensive consideration crude-steel production, steel scrap utilization, energy saving, and pollution control measures.