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Update on UNEP Coal Partnership work

The partnership continues to work towards fulfilling the aims defined within the EC Project on evaluating and reducing mercury emissions from coal combustion in China, India, Russia and South Africa.


The Process Optimisation Guidance (POG) document has been completed and has been available on the coal partnership webpage for some time (English, Russian and Mandarin).

With funding from the EC grant and additional funding from Environment Canada, the partnership has contracted a specialist to produce an interactive online/downloadable version of the POG. This computer modelling programme will allow the user to input data on coal and plant characteristics to help determine possible means of mercury control. The iPOG is designed such that it can be used by both novices (selecting minimal and basic data on coals and power plant characteristics most representative of those in their region) and relative experts (selecting plant specific characteristics and coal blends). The model will determine baseline mercury emissions for the parameters chosen and will then allow the user to "play" with selected additions and modifications such as coal blending, control technology addition and chemical treatment. Although the iPOG is not designed to provide a prescriptive determination of which control option is most appropriate at any individual plant, it does provide an indication of possible approaches and thus allows the user to concentrate on only those options which are most relevant.

Partnership work in China

The inventory work for China was completed by MEP/Tsinghua University and is available for download from the coal partnership webpage.

Partnership work in Russia

The first ever stack mercury measurements from Russian coal-fired plants were taken using the US EPA Mercury Monitoring toolkit, kindly provided by the US EPA.

South Africa

The first ever stack mercury measurements from South African coal-fired plants were taken using the US EPA Mercury Monitoring toolkit, kindly provided by the US EPA. T
A project has been initiated coordinating the expertise of a US consultancy and the US Geological Survey to work with Eskom on a mercury reduction project in South Africa. The work will concentrate on characterising the mode of occurence of mercury in typical South African coals (collected from active coal-fired utilities) both before and after coal treatement and beneficiation. The information will be used to enhance the performance of a new dry-coal cleaning system. The coal cleaning system has been designed to reduce sulphur in South African coals, using minimal water (since resources are limited). It is thought that mercury capture is possible with such treatment although the capture efficiency may be enhanced with a better understanding of the mineralogy of the coal so that the system can be calibrated to maximise both sulphur and mercury control simultaneously. 

Meetings - past

Details of the UNEP coal partnership activities have been presented at several international meetings and conferences. Since our last update, this has included:

-    MEC (Mercury Emissions from Coal - Experts Group), Kruger Gate, South Africa, May 2011. This annual MEC meeting focussed on the partnership work in South Africa but was complemented by some excellent and up to date papers on legislation, control and other activities elsewhere internationally. The papers are available on the IEA CCC coal centre website, but have restricted access. Contact Dr Lesley Sloss at for details.

-    IKIMP (Mercury Knowledge Exchange), Oxford, UK, May 2011. IKIMP is an initiative run out of Oxford University  

Gunnar Fustaeter updated the delegates on the UNEP work whilst Lesley Sloss provided information on the partnership work and a summary of the work discussed at MEC (via webcam, thanks to an overactive volcano).


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