Cleaning the Sky - One Cloud at a Time
February 1, 2015
Heavy metals have long been recognised as hazardous to human health and none more so than mercury. Its status as a documented toxin is reflected by the recent adoption of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Minamata Convention. While mercury capture technologies are available, many were originally tailored for power sector application. However, new technologies geared specifically to the cement industry are now emerging. In the February 2015 issue of International Cement Review Dr Peter Hurley highlights Cylenchar’s CyCurex® technology process trials in the US Power Utility sector and its suitability for mercury control in cement kiln application.
11th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant, Edinburgh, Scotland, 28 July to 2 August 2013
ICMGP is the pre-eminent international forum for discussion of scientific advances concerning environmental mercury. The 11th such 5 day conference and exhibition meeting held in Edinburgh, Scotland was attended by over 1,000 delegates and 40 exhibitors from over 60 countries. This year's event packed conference programme included 415 oral presentations and 531 poster presentations and celebrated the official launch the United Nations Environment Programme Global Legally Binding Treaty on Mercury. With the United nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Global Mercury Assessment 2013, presenting the latest information on atmospheric and aquatic chemistry, fate and transport of mercury, showing increased releases from Asia and the third world, ICMGP 2013 provided an ideal forum for discussions on how policy makers can put the new treaty into practice.
Cylenchar contributed a poster presentation on its CyCurex® technology for the removal of elemental and oxidised mercury from coal combustions gases. There will be a SPECIAL ISSUE of Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN) dedicated to the Edinburgh 2013 11th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant for which the theme is “Science informing global policy.”
XXIV European Shooting Confederation General Assembly, Moscow, 17-18 May 2013
Dr Peter Hurley of Cylenchar Limited attended the XXIV European Shooting Confederation General Assembly, in Moscow 17-18 May 2013 as a guest speaker at the Assembly's seminar on legislation and environmental issues related to sport shooting. Dr Hurley’s presentation on ‘Environmental Risks Arising from Changes in Ammunition Materials’, seminar notes and notes as article are available to access or download.
Long-awaited treaty, agreed by UN member states at the end of January, aims to reduce emissions of highly toxic mercury
On Jan 10, 2013, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released its long-awaited report Mercury: Time to Act. The report was aimed directly at the 140 countries that agreed in 2009 to negotiate a legally binding treaty to cut mercury emissions from human activities. On Jan 21, Geneva hosted these 140 countries to finalise this treaty. The meeting was named the Minamata Convention after the Japanese city devastated by mercury pollution in the 1950s and 60s.
UN says mercury in world's oceans has doubled over past century. Mercury can be released into the environment via industrial processes including mining, metal and cement production, and burning fossil fuels, as well as building up in the food chain.
“Mercury is especially but not uniquely a threat to the health of pregnant women and babies worldwide through the eating of contaminated fish, for example, or to marine mammals in places like the Arctic”, says Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP.
The World Health Organization has welcomed the treaty, having previously concluded that there are no safe limits in respect to mercury, especially in high-income countries, many mercury-containing products are already being phased out, with processes using mercury increasingly being converted to safer alternative technologies.
President Obama Announces Historic New Mercury Emissions Standards
December 21, 2011
As EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the final reduction requirements for mercury and other toxics from power plants, Carol Browner, Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, released the following statement:
President Barack Obama adopted public health safeguards today that will drastically reduce dangerous emissions of mercury, arsenic, acid gases, and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants.
The new safeguards are preventative medicine — they will annually forestall thousands of premature deaths, hospitalizations, and respiratory ailments.
In less than three years, President Obama has reduced harmful air pollution from two major sources: power plants and vehicles.
Cleaning up toxic and cross-state air pollution from dirty power plants will save 45,000 lives every year, or prevent nearly five deaths every hour. And modernizing vehicle fuel economy standards will slash carbon dioxide pollution and reduce oil use by more than 2 million barrels per day.
Both initiatives will put tens of thousands of Americans to work inventing, manufacturing, and installing modern pollution-control technologies.
The support for the new toxics reduction rules by some major utilities demonstrate that the standards are readily achievable and affordable, and pose little threat to our electricity system.
Evaluation of the CyCurex® Reagent System for the Removal of Mercury from Coal Combustion Gases, at the SRI, Birmingham, Alabama. 19th to 30th April 2010
Cylenchar demonstrated its CyCurex® system and new multi-cell cyclone reactor design at the Southern Research Institute, (SRI) 1MW Combustion Research Facility. In testing CyCurex® showed that it can rapidly and economically remediate both moderate and high concentrations of oxidised and elemental mercury in combustion gases of similar composition and temperatures to those experienced at the industrial level in coal fired power plant and cement kiln processes. CyCurex® successfully removed >90% of ionised and >75% of elemental mercury even at short exposure times as low as 1.1 to 2.2 seconds. The project validated the potential of the CyCurex® system and provided performance data to facilitate the scaling up of process, ultimately to a full-scale system sufficient for the control of mercury within the high temperature environments of coal-fired power or cement plants.