NIEHS Superfund Research Program small business grantee and Wyoming-based start-up Pollution Control Technologies (PCTech) has initiated field tests of its new X-FA system, a cost-effective tool to capture mercury emissions.
X-FA, which can pick up and retain mercury, is composed mainly of fly ash, a waste product at power plants that usually requires its own special management. Using an innovative method, PCTech deposits a thin coating of activator material around the recycled fly ash particles to create the X-FA sorbent that can chemically bind to mercury. The X-FA sorbent can be produced on-site and can capture large amounts of mercury relatively inexpensively. PCTech expects to commercialize X-FA in the near future, which could help utilities meet strict mercury emissions standards implemented to protect human health.
The team is testing X-FA at coal-fired power utilities, including the University of Wyoming Central Energy Plant and the Dakota Gasification Company. PCTech also has been working closely with Basin Electric to test X-FA technology.