Global emission and production of mercury during the pyrometallurgical extraction of nonferrous sulfide ores
2008 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 42, no 15, 5971-5977 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The contribution of the milling, smelting, and refining of sulfide ores to Hg emissions and to Hg byproduction is not adequately quantified in a global context. 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 Cu, Pb, and Zn 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. Global emission factors were 5.81, 15.71, and 12.09 g of Hg ton-1 of metal for Cu, Pb, and Zn smelters, respectively. Calculations indicate thatHgabatementtechnologies 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. Reducing these emissions may be one of the most economical measures to reduce global Hg emissions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 42, no 15, 5971-5977 p.
byproduct, copper, lead, industrial ecology, mass balance, mercury air emission, zinc
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-17617DOI: 10.1021/es800495gISI: 000258439600024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-17617DiVA: diva2:45388