Recent Published Articles

Distribution and bioavailability of mercury in size-fractioned atmospheric particles around an ultra-low emission power plant in Southwest China

Deliang Yin , Wei Zhang , Jinjuan Li , Hao Qiu , Xingqiang Guo , Zhijun Fei , Yi Xing


Received November 01, 2022,Revised , Accepted March 22, 2023, Available online April 03, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 141-152

Ultra-low emission (ULE) technology retrofits significantly impact the particulate-bound mercury (Hg) emissions from coal-fired power plants (CFPPs); however, the distribution and bioavailability of Hg in size-fractioned particulate matter (PM) around the ULE-retrofitted CFPPs are less understood. Here, total Hg and its chemical speciation in TSP (total suspended particles), PM10 (aerodynamic particle diameter ≤ 10 µm) and PM2.5 (aerodynamic particle diameter ≤ 2.5 µm) around a ULE-retrofitted CFPP in Guizhou Province were quantified. Atmospheric PM2.5 concentration was higher around this ULE-retrofitted CFPP than that in the intra-regional urban cities, and it had higher mass Hg concentration than other size-fractioned PM. Total Hg concentrations in PM had multifarious sources including CFPP, vehicle exhaust and biomass combustion, while they were significantly higher in autumn and winter than those in other seasons (P < 0.05). Regardless of particulate size, atmospheric PM-bound Hg had lower residual fractions (< 21%) while higher HCl-soluble fractions (> 40%). Mass concentrations of exchangeable, HCl-soluble, elemental, and residual Hg in PM2.5 were higher than those in other size-fractioned PM, and were markedly elevated in autumn and winter (P < 0.05). In PM2.5, HCl-soluble Hg presented a significantly positive relationship with elemental Hg (P < 0.05), while residual Hg showed the significantly positive relationships with HCl-soluble Hg and elemental Hg (P < 0.01). Overall, these results suggested that atmospheric PM-bound Hg around the ULE-retrofitted CFPP tends to accumulate in finer PM, and has higher bioavailable fractions, while has potential transformation between chemical speciation.

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