Among various adsorbents studied, sulfur-impregnated activated carbon is one of the most promising adsorbents for mercury removal from flue gas. However, a large amount of spent activated carbons containing high content of mercury are generated after adsorption. To make the adsorption a more viable option, the regeneration and reuse of the spent activated carbon should be considered. The purpose of this study is to develop a novel technique for bioregeneration of sulfur-impregnated activated carbons after adsorption of mercury from flue gases by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. The optimal operating parameters for this bioregeneration process were studied using central composite design (CCD) and response surface methodology (RSM). Results showed that the sulfur oxidation rate was increased with increasing activated carbon dosage. Furthermore, the increase of inoculum size only caused a slight increase of sulfur oxidation rate in the bioregeneration. The maximum mercury removal efficiency of more than 50% was obtained at 10% (w/v) activated carbon dosage and 20% (v/v) inoculum size. After the bioregeneration process, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area and micropore volume of spent activated carbon increased due to the bio-oxidation of mercury bearing sulfur on the surface of activated carbons.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2017
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