Real-time atomic absorption mercury continuous emission monitor

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Zamzow, Daniel
Bajic, Stanley
Eckels, David
Winterrowd, Chris
Keeney, Robert
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Baldwin, David
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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The Department of Chemistry seeks to provide students with a foundation in the fundamentals and application of chemical theories and processes of the lab. Thus prepared they me pursue careers as teachers, industry supervisors, or research chemists in a variety of domains (governmental, academic, etc).

The Department of Chemistry was founded in 1880.

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A continuous emission monitor (CEM) for mercury(Hg) in combustor flue gas streams has been designed and tested for the detection of Hg by optical absorption. A sampling system that allows continuous introduction of stack gas is incorporated into the CEM, for the sequential analysis of elemental and total Hg. A heated pyrolysis tube is used in the system to convert oxidizedHg compounds to elemental Hg for analysis of total Hg; the pyrolysis tube is bypassed to determine the elemental Hg concentration in the gas stream. A key component of the CEM is a laboratory-designed and -assembled echelle spectrometer that provides simultaneous detection of all of the emission lines from a Hg pen lamp, which is used as the light source for the optical absorption measurement. This feature allows for on-line spectroscopic correction for interferent gases such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, typically present in combustion stack gas streams, that also absorb at the Hg detection wavelength (253.65 nm). This article provides a detailed description of the CEM system, the characteristics and performance of the CEM, and the results of field tests performed at the Environmental Protection Agency-Rotary Kiln at Research Triangle Park, NC.


The following article appeared in Review of Scientific Instruments 74, 8 (2003); 3774 and may be found at doi: 10.1063/1.1589158.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2003