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Centers of Excellence

Centers of Excellence

Mercury Control and Measurement

Providing Critical Solutions to Mercury Issues Worldwide

The EERC is a worldwide leader in mercury measurement and control and has tremendous expertise and equipment to address virtually any mercury-related question.

The EERC has mercury-related contracts ongoing across the United States and Canada and is setting global standards for mercury analysis and measurement, focusing on the development, testing, demonstration, and commercialization of mercury control technologies for the coal-fired power industry.

As a world leader, the EERC strives to partner with industry and technology developers to solve global mercury problems.

Assessment and Control

The EERC is recognized worldwide for its expertise in understanding mercury in fuels, air, water, and soil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated that mercury emitted into the atmosphere from the stacks of coal-fired boilers must be regulated. The EERC is developing, testing, and commercializing technologies to control mercury emissions from a wide variety of fuels in an efficient and cost-effective way.

The EERC has conducted testing on numerous mercury control options in bench-, pilot-, and full-scale combustion and emission control systems.

Control Testing

  • Bench-scale testing
  • Pilot-scale testing
  • Slipstream testing
  • Full-scale testing

Understanding Mercury

Over the past 15 years, the EERC has developed a detailed understanding of the impact that fuel properties, boiler type, and emission control technologies have on mercury speciation and control. This understanding allows for matching the best mercury control technology option with fuel type, power system design, and operating conditions.


The EERC is a world leader in mercury measurement in combustion flue gases and by-products. The ability to accurately and reliably measure mercury is fundamental to demonstrating compliance with the regulations issued in the Clean Air Mercury Rule and assessing commercialization potential of various mercury control technologies. In the mid-1990s, the EERC validated the Ontario Hydro (OH) mercury speciation method and coauthored ASTM International D6784-02, the OH method.

The EERC also played an active role in the development and application of continuous mercury monitors (CMMs). The EERC has successfully used CMMs to continuously measure mercury in bench-, pilot-, and stack emissions at many sites around North America. These devices are extremely valuable and have been used to provide real-time data on how well various control technologies work relative to mercury capture and reduction.

More on Mercury Field Sampling Capabilities

The Mobile Laboratories

The EERC is unique because it can sample and analyze mercury in the field while maintaining exceptionally high quality control and quality assurance standards. The EERC has seven sophisticated mobile labs that have been used for extensive mercury sampling and technology performance verification. Sampling crews ranging from four to 14 scientists and engineers travel to many locations annually, spending up to several months at a time evaluating baseline mercury emission levels and the effectiveness of control technologies.

The EERC can perform several EPA-sanctioned methods, including:

  • EPA Methods 5 and 17 for particulate sampling.
  • ASTM D6784-02 (the OH method).
  • EPA Method 29 for multimetal measurements.
  • EPA Method 30B.

Solid Experience

Over the last 15 years, the EERC has been involved with hundreds of cutting-edge mercury control and measurement projects around the world:

  • The Center for Air Toxic Metals® (CATM®)  , one of the EERC's eleven centers of excellence, is leading the world in developing effective strategies to understand, measure, and control mercury and other air toxic metal emissions.
  • The EERC is leading a series of full-scale programs with North Dakota utilities to demonstrate new mercury control technologies. The EERC is testing numerous lignite-fired power plants from Texas to North Dakota to Saskatchewan.
  • EERC researchers have provided testimony before numerous U.S. Senate committees on the technical challenges facing mercury control to assist in developing federal policy.
  • The EERC has conducted mercury sampling at more than 50 power plants in North America.
  • EERC researchers are doing extensive work on mercury control for subbituminous coals with support from utilities, coal companies, and technology developers.
  • The EERC is conducting multiple evaluations on bituminous coal-burning sites, including testing additive control technologies as well as evaluation of the cobenefits from SO2 and NOx control technologies.

EERC Mercury Testing Equipment and Systems Control

  • Bench- and pilot-scale test units
  • Sorbent injection equipment
  • Additive injection systems
  • Sorbent regeneration hardware
  • Slipstream air pollution control devices


  • Seven sampling trailers for short- and long-duration testing in the field
  • Cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometer in sampling trailer for on-site analysis of OH and sorbent trap samples
  • On-site coal, fly ash, and scrubber sludge analysis for mercury
  • Over 15 CMMs (five different types)
  • Knowledge, equipment, and capability to measure and assess all flue gas components
  • A full suite of analytical capabilities in-house

Useful Links

Center for Air Toxic Metals®