Mercury By-Production and Emissions at Pyrometallurgical Extraction of Nonferrous Sulfide Ores Globally
2009 (English)In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant: session S17 Anthropogenic sources and emissions of mercury to the atmosphere, 2009, 42- p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Pyrometallurgical extraction of nonferrous sulfide ores may be a significant source of mercury (Hg) emissions and Hg by-production globally. In this study, we estimate Hg emissions from the pyrometallurgical treatment of Cu, Pb, and Zn sulfide ores. We base our calculations on quantities processed and Hg content in the concentrates, derived from unique global databases on smelter feed and production. In 2005, about 275 tons of Hg were emitted globally to the atmosphere from Cu, Pb, and Zn smelters. Nearly one-half was emitted from Zn smelters and the other half equally divided between Cu and Pb smelters. Most Hg was emitted in China, followed by the Russian Federation, India, and South Korea. Calculations indicate that Hg abatementtechnologies applied to flue gases may have recovered 8.8 tons and 228 tons Hg from Pb and Zn smelters, respectively, most of which was probably sold as a byproduct. In conclusion, Hg emitted from processing copper, lead, and zinc ores has been largely underestimated in Hg emission inventories, amounting to rougly the same amounts of Hg by-production and Hg emissions as industrial gold mining. Reducing these emissions may be one of the most economical measures to reduce global Hg emissions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. 42- p.
Zinc; Copper; Lead; Gold; Smelting
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-137587OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-137587DiVA: diva2:378355
The 9th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant, 7-12 June 2009, Guiyang, China