Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Experimental study on the stability of the ClHgSO3 in desulfurization wastewater

  • 189 Accesses

  • 2 Citations


Wet flue gas desulfurization technologies have received much concern for their superior performance on co-controlling the acid gases and mercury. However, high concentrations of mercury-containing desulfurization wastewater, which discharge from wet flue gas desulfurization system regularly, have received researchers’ attention since it might generate the risk of secondary pollution. In this paper, the species of mercuric complexes in the desulfurization wastewater was investigated. It speculated that ClHgSO3 might determine the residual rate of Hg2+ in the desulfurization wastewater. Besides, the stability of ClHgSO3 on the condition of various wastewater features was also evaluated. The experiment revealed that the high temperature and high pH level promoted the decomposition of ClHgSO3 . SO3 2− could restrain the decomposition of ClHgSO3 gently; the Hg2+ residual rate was determined by the new mercury complexes which compounded by Hg2+ and SO3 2−. The decrease of SO4 2− and increase of Ca2+ concentrations could also stimulate the stability of ClHgSO3 in wastewater. Cu2+ and Fe2+ disturbed the stability of complexes for their catalysis and reduction activities. The study proposed that the ClHgSO3 probably decomposes and releases Hg0 in two pathways. Furthermore, changes of the water’s features could disturb the balance of Hg2+–Cl–SO3 2− systems, which might stimulate the decomposition of ClHgSO3.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12


  1. Acuña-Caro C, Brechtel K, Scheffknecht G, Braß M (2009) The effect of chlorine and oxygen concentrations on the removal of mercury at an FGD-batch reactor. Fuel 88:2489–2494

  2. Barrow NJ, Cox VC (1992) The effects of pH and chloride concentration on mercury sorption. I by Goethite Eur J Soil Sci 43:295–304

  3. Blythe G, DeBerry DW, Pletcher S (2008) Bench-scale kinetics study of mercury reactions in FGD liquors final report. DE-FC26-04NT42314 for the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Austin, TX

  4. Cheng C-M, Cao Y, Kai Z, Pan W-P (2013) Co-effects of sulfur dioxide load and oxidation air on mercury re-emission in forced-oxidation limestone flue gas desulfurization wet scrubber. Fuel 106:505–511

  5. Constantinou E, Wu XA, Seigneur C (1995) Development and application of a reactive plume model for mercury emissions. Water air Soil Pollut 80:325–335

  6. Córdoba P et al (2011) Enrichment of inorganic trace pollutants in re-circulated water streams from a wet limestone flue gas desulphurisation system in two coal power plants. Fuel Process Technol 92:1764–1775

  7. Enoch GD, van den Broeke WF, Spiering W (1994) Removal of heavy metals and suspended solids from wastewater from wet lime (stone)—gypson flue gas desulphurization plants by means of hydrophobic and hydrophilic crossflow microfiltration membranes. J Membrane Sci 87:191–198

  8. Heebink L, Hassett D (2005) Mercury release from FGD. Fuel 84:1372–1377

  9. Heidel B, Hilber M, Scheffknecht G (2014) Impact of additives for enhanced sulfur dioxide removal on re-emissions of mercury in wet flue gas desulfurization. Appl Energ 114:485–491

  10. Ho TL (2002) Hard soft acids bases (HSAB) principle and organic chemistry. Chem rev 75:1–20

  11. Huang YH, Peddi PK, Tang C, Zeng H, Teng X (2012) Pilot demonstration of the activated iron process for removing heavy metals from Flue-Gas-Desulfurization (FGD) Wastewater Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation:7134–7151(7118)

  12. Huang YH, Peddi PK, Tang C, Zeng H, Teng X (2013) Hybrid zero-valent iron process for removing heavy metals and nitrate from flue-gas-desulfurization wastewater. Sep Purif Technol 118:690–698

  13. Ito S, Yokoyama T, Asakura K (2006) Emissions of mercury and other trace elements from coal-fired power plants in Japan. Sci Total Environ 368:397–402

  14. Ming-Bo LI, Fan X, Sun KQ (2010) Technique application of WFGD wastewater treatment using flue gas in power plants Electric Power Technology & Environmental Protection

  15. Musale DA, Shah JT (2008) Removing mercury and other heavy metals from industrial wastewater

  16. Nakajima T, Yamada K, Idehara H, Takanashi H, Ohki A (2011) Removal of selenium (VI) from simulated wet flue gas desulfurization wastewater using photocatalytic reduction. J Water Environ Technol 9:13–19

  17. Ochoa-González R, Díaz-Somoano M, Martínez-Tarazona MR (2013) Effect of anion concentrations on Hg2+ reduction from simulated desulphurization aqueous solutions. Chem Eng J 214:165–171

  18. Omine N, Romero CE, Kikkawa H, Wu S, Eswaran S (2012) Study of elemental mercury re-emission in a simulated wet scrubber. Fuel 91:93–101

  19. Peddi P (2011) Pilot-scale demonstration of hZVI process for treating flue gas desulfurization. Wastewater at Plant Wansley, Carrollton, GA

  20. Rallo M, Lopez-Anton MA, Perry R, Maroto-Valer MM (2010) Mercury speciation in gypsums produced from flue gas desulfurization by temperature programmed decomposition. Fuel 89:2157–2159

  21. Ramirez P Jr (1992) Trace element concentrations in flue gas desulfurization wastewater from the Jim Bridger power plant. Sweetwater County, Wyoming

  22. Srivastava RK, Hutson N, Martin B, Princiotta F, Staudt J (2006) Control of mercury emissions from coal-fired electric utility boilers. Environ Sci Technol 40:1385–1393

  23. Stergaršek A et al (2008) The role of flue gas desulphurisation in mercury speciation and distribution in a lignite burning power plant. Fuel 87:3504–3512

  24. Sun M, Cheng G, Lu R, Tang T, Baig SA, Xu X (2014a) Characterization of Hg0 re-emission and Hg2+ leaching potential from flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum. Fuel Process Technol 118:28–33

  25. Sun M, Hou J, Cheng G, Baig SA, Tan L, Xu X (2014b) The relationship between speciation and release ability of mercury in flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum. Fuel 125:66–72

  26. Sun M et al (2015) Process migration and transformation of mercury in simulated wet flue gas desulfurization slurry system. Fuel 140:136–142

  27. Talley MK (2012) Analysis of a pilot-scale constructed wetland treatment system for flue gas desulfurization wastewater. Kansas State University, Manhattan

  28. Wang Q, Shen W, Ma Z (2000) Estimation of mercury emission from coal combustion in China. Environ Sci Technol 34:2711–2713

  29. Wang Y-j, Y-f D, Yang L-g, Y-m J, Wu C-j, Wang Q, Yang X-H (2008) Comparison of mercury removal characteristic between fabric filter and electrostatic precipitators of coal-fired power plants. J Fuel Chem Technol 36:23–29

  30. Wo J, Zhang M, Cheng X, Zhong X, Xu J, Xu X (2009) Hg2+ reduction and re-emission from simulated wet flue gas desulfurization liquors. J Hazard Mater 172:1106–1110

  31. Xin G, Zheng CG, Xu M (2007) Characterization of mercury emissions from a coal-fired power plant. Energ Fuel 21:898–902

  32. Zhang L, Lin X, Wang J, Jiang F, Wei L, Chen G, Hao X (2016) Effects of lead and mercury on sulfate-reducing bacterial activity in a biological process for flue gas desulfurization wastewater treatment. Sci rep 6:30455

Download references


Financial support was sponsored by The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant No. 51176058), the partial funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology, China (2014CB238904, 2013CB228504), and the funding from the Science and Technology Research and Development, Shenzhen (JCYJ20160531194612911).

Author information

Correspondence to Xin Guo.

Additional information


• The chloride–sulfite mercuric complexes contained in desulfurization wastewater.

• The stability of ClHgSO3 might determine the Hg2+ residual rate of desulfurization wastewater.

• The mechanism of ClHgSO3 decomposition in desulfurization wastewater is proposed.

Responsible editor: Santiago V. Luis

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Huang, Y., Chen, Y., Guo, X. et al. Experimental study on the stability of the ClHgSO3 in desulfurization wastewater. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 17031–17040 (2017).

Download citation


  • Mercuric complexes
  • Stabilization estimate
  • Desulfurization wastewater
  • Decomposition mechanism