Midwest Energy Emissions' extensive product line of customer-centric mercury capture solutions came into focus recently with University of Southern California professor of medicine, Dr. David Agus' appearance on the "CBS This Morning" show to talk about the alarming rise of mercury contamination in Pacific Ocean fish by dirty coal burning plants in China and India, which is the subject of a new joint study by the University of Hawaii and the University of Michigan. Study projections indicate that these levels are likely to continue rising in coming decades, posing a very ominous and daunting health problem that has wide-ranging implications.
The vast quantities of elemental mercury being output into the atmosphere by China's predominantly coal burning energy infrastructure, which burns some 4B tons/year (as much as the rest of the world combined), ends up in ocean waters via rainfall where it is converted by bacteria into an extremely dangerous organic form, methylmercury. The fish eat the bacteria and we eat the fish, resulting in serious, broad-spectrum health risks spanning the gamut from impaired brain function and nervous system disorders, to immune system disorder, high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart attack.
The dangers for young people whose bodies are still developing (especially the brain of those younger than 14) and pregnant women in particular are severe, with developmental delays in children being quite prominent according to Dr. Agus' analysis of the available data. Dr. Agus cited a particular study on a town in Japan from back in the 50′s where widespread mercury contamination from a chemical plant of the local population afforded a window into the toxicology of mercury (otherwise difficult data to obtain as direct testing cannot really be done), where results like tremors, memory problems, and other neurological disorders were prevalent. This study has clearly identified one major reason that fish deeper down in the water typically have higher concentrations of mercury as well, namely because near-surface higher concentrations of sunlight helps to break down the mercury.
The study is key because it waves off other non-atmospheric sources via isotopic analysis, indicating that the mercury most likely comes from the atmosphere and pointing a finger directly at the easterly blowing output of coal plants in China and India. This is where mercury capture technologies and solutions developed by MEEC really get their chance to shine. The company is quite unique in terms of how comprehensive their service approach is, with a complete testing framework that looks for mercury and other trace metals delivered via a hands-on approach where MEEC establishes, operates, and maintains a custom facility nearby the operation for year round, 24/7 support.
Continuous management and monitoring ensures squeaky clean regulatory compliance, especially when it is backed up by rock-solid expertise from some of the top mercury experts and researchers in the field of environmental science today, global leader in developing cleaner, more efficient energy and environmental technologies, the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC). This extremely rigorous approach, backed up by the expertise of the EERC's over five decades in clean coal technologies, allows MEEC to guarantee results on their mercury capture system.
MEEC services can optimize not only the injection scheme and installation logistics, but the implementation of their patented SEA™ (Sorbent Enhancing Additive) system on a per-unit basis. MEEC does a complete line of sorbents to satisfy the requisite backend system applications, irrespective of boiler type, offering customers a solution set that allows them to delimit mercury at low cost and via a greatly reduced sorbent loading methodology that puts traditional carbon activated systems to shame. Customizing the application on a per-unit basis to fuel type and boiler configuration yields premium results from both additive and sorbents, driving maximum profitability while shattering expectations when compared with typical removal techniques in use today.
The company's 100% carbon-free line is a further breakthrough in the space which also represents how accomplished MEEC's material science has become, and the product has been extensively field tested over long term intervals at over a dozen domestic utilities during the past several years, empirically validating its efficacy with flying colors. When paired with the SEA product, this line offers utilities that sell their fly ash (unburned carbon that is great for stabilizing concrete and soil, but also seeing increased use for solidifying material in drilling waste pits) a no-risk option for switching away from typical carbon-based sorbents.
To learn more, visit Midwest Energy Emissions on the web at MidwestEmissions.com
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