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Combating the threat of mercury

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Mercury is rapidly moving up the pollution control agenda in the European Union (EU), the US and Asia ahead of the legally binding United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) global treaty on mercury to be implemented in 2013.


In the US, The Linde Group was the first company to offer gaseous mercury calibration standards for the monitoring and detection of emissions from power generation plants. Linde has worked alongside UNEP for nearly a decade to identify technology to reduce the overall amount of mercury in the atmosphere, resulting in a 1-60 μg/Nm3 range of globally high-precision gaseous mercury standards to calibrate analytical instruments operating at industrial processing plants.


Typical analytical instruments in this application include atomic absorption spectrometers (AAS) and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometers. The AAS is generally used to determine the mercury content of raw natural gas coming into a facility from the oil and gas fields. Ensuring speed of response and a direct online read, the instrument also plays a key role in the process control instrumentation loop in natural gas processing, to ensure that mercury has been successfully removed before the gas enters the compression train.


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