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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mercury Removal Market Could Surpass $10 Billion

The market for systems and consumables to remove mercury from stack gases could exceed $10 billion by 2020, according to market researcher McIlvaine Co. And the biggest near-term market is in the U.S.

 

Regulatory Status

Application

Europe

Americas

Asia

Waste-to-Energy

   yes

yes

yes

Utility Power Air No, but most plants have scrubbers

yes

China on the path

Utility Power Water

yes

pending

pending

Cement

no

yes

no

Industrial Boiler

no

yes

no

Steel

no

no

no

Mining

no

no

no

Source: McIlvaine Co.

In the U.S., power plants, industrial boilers, and cement plants will have to meet new mercury limits by 2016. It is estimated that annual expenditures to meet these rules will exceed $1 billion/yr, says McIlvaine Co.

The researcher says that while waste-to-energy plants around the world typically employ equipment to remove mercury, the rest of the world lags behind the U.S. relative to limiting stack gas mercury emissions from industrial boilers and cement plants.

But “[w]hen one country takes the lead with more stringent reduction requirements for a particular pollutant, the other countries eventually follow,” says the analyst. “Also, when one industry is forced to remove a specific quantity of a pollutant, other industries with similar emissions are likely to be subsequently regulated.”

McIlvaine thus predicts a mercury removal market that will be 16 times the size of the U.S. utility market.

 

 

Potential Market In % With Americas Utility Power = 100

Application Europe Americas Asia Total
Waste-to-energy

   20

5

40

65

Utility Power Air

40

100

1,000

1,140

Utility Power Water

5

5

40

50

Cement

20

10

60

90

Industrial Boiler

20

20

100

140

Steel and Other

15

10

40

65

Mining

10

15

20

45

Total

130

165

1,300

1,595

Source: McIlvaine Co.

 

McIlvaine reached that conclusion based on the quantities of mercury emitted by industries in various regions. The Asian coal-fired utility sector is much larger than the U.S. sector, and China produces five times as much cement as the U.S, so the researcher estimates that China produces 75 tons of mercury emissions from cement production annually.

The market, it says, will be greatly affected by the technologies chosen for mercury removal. Some are high in capital cost and low in consumables expenditures; others are the opposite.

For more information on the market, click here.

 

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