Document Type



Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Adviser

Alparslan Oztekin


To explore non-energy study uses of coal, an approach of anthracite coal activation and its Hg capture capacity was investigated to establish the feasibility of using anthracite for Hg emissions adsorption in the flue gas of coal-fired power plants. This research project was performed in two stages: an anthracite sample activation stage and a Hg adsorption stage. In the first step, anthracite coal produced by Blaschak Coal Corporation was activated by mixing it with potassium hydroxide (KOH) powder and heated to high temperature. Then hydrochloride acid was applied to remove KOH after the coal powder heating process. The treated samples were then sent to the Iacocca Laboratory at Lehigh University for BET analysis. During the second stage of the project, selected coal samples with large BET results were tested in their ability for Hg adsorption. Multiple parameters were explored in the activation trials and Hg adsorption tests to find optimal conditions for performance of the activated material for Hg sorption. Based on the laboratory findings, a process consisting of activated carbon impregnation at a KOH ratio of 100% at 800ºC carbonization temperature for 1 hour is recommended to produce an activated carbon with high Hg adsorption capacity. The Hg sorption capacity of this activated material was found to be 25.03 ng/mg, comparable with 11.07 ng/mg of a commercial activated carbon. The Iodine number of the activated material was also found to be comparable to that of a commercial activated carbon, 580 mg/g vs. 268 mg/g, respectively.