The Michigan Engineer News Center

Mercury in the air

Michigan engineers have developed a method that works in tandem with electrostatic precipitators (ESPs), reducing the amount of mercury emitted into the air while at the same time not adding a separate process to an already complex power plant system.| Short Read

About this video

With the help of an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) coal fired power plants utilize a highly charged electric field in order to trap ash and other particulates, keeping the amount of ash escaping from the plant very low. However, mercury can also be found in coal, and the ESP’s are less adept at capturing it. In order to solve this problem Michigan engineers have developed a method that works in tandem with an ESP, reducing the amount of mercury emitted into the air while at the same time not adding a separate process to an already complex power plant system.

About the Professor

Herek Clack is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research focuses on the study, characterization, and enhancement of fluid, thermal, and mass transport processes, primarily associated with combustion and combustion emissions control. Specific areas of interest include: droplet combustion, especially involving radiant heating effects; control of trace toxic and metallic compounds emitted as a result of fossil fuel combustion; electrostatic precipitation and novel uses of electro-hydrodynamics (EHD) to augment heat and mass transfer; particulate carbon emissions and their climate forcing effects, especially as they intersect with other air pollutant emissions.

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Bob Brustman
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Civil and Environmental Engineering

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  • Herek Clack

    Herek Clack

    Research Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

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