Mercury Scrubbing Technology for Steel and Natural Gas Production.

Our new and novel technology scrubs elemental mercury out of the gas stream in real time at virtually any given flow velocity, and sequesters it into a clean marketable product that has value on the open market thus totally eliminating filter beds and hazmat disposal altogether. Removing the elemental mercury from a gas stream without it having to pass through a conventional filter bed is the method and apparatus shown here.

Mercury Vapor in Combustion Exhaust Gases or in Natural Gas can be removed using inertia as the gases and elemental mercury are accelerated via viscous friction as in the classic patented Tesla Turbine technology. Our device somewhat works in reverse to that prior art, with the gas being injected at the center of the machine and expelled at the outer diameter.

Tesla Turbine Mercury Scrubber ( All Rights Reserved ca 2018 )

This arrangement generates the physics that allows the mercury to flow continuously out of the bottom of the turbine, and allows the scrubbed clean gases flow out the top.

Our technology is powered by two electric motors that spin the rotor discs on a common shaft. thus providing balanced torque from both sides of the machine and balanced ingress of gases from each side.

Our turbine discs provide a negative static pressure at their relative central axle region of rotation, and a higher pressure outwards towards their outside diameters as they rotate at high RPM.

Cross Section Detail.

The scrubbed gas exits while the mercury, Hg, is trapped and deposited onto the inside walls of the turbine housing where it accumulates and decants to the bottom via gravity. A spigot in the bottom of the housing empties Hg continuously while the scrubbed clean gas exits out the top of the housing at the same velocity it enters the machine.

Coal combustion gases from steel production mills and raw natural gas straight out of the wells, contains some elemental mercury vapor in their gas streams. Conventional removal and scrubbing is currently provided by activated charcoal filter beds placed in the gas streams that traps the mercury inside the filter beds. The mercury accumulated over time inside the piping containing natural gas damages components like valves and fittings.

Turbine Exploded View

The components are bolted together and are modular for ease of assembly, clean-out and maintenance.

The rotor discs and bearing housings are CNC machined as are many other components in the assembly.

The scrubbed mercury flows by gravity to a vented holding tank where it is periodically emptied and sold as product.  The technology can be scaled for various throughputs of exhaust gases.

Existing conventional charcoal filter beds are compromised in their filtering ability by the trapped mercury they capture making them most effective only when first installed, but less effective as time passes. The contaminated filter beds ( commonly with activated charcoal ) must periodically be removed, replaced and then disposed of as hazardous waste, making it expensive, inefficient and time consuming to maintain over time.

The wetted rotating metal turbine discs and shafts are subjected to an acidic environment so are made from stainless steel with ceramic bearings holding the shafts to which the turbine discs are fixed. There are no solid particles moving through the turbine housings, only gases at temperatures of about 50 – 80 deg. C

Although it would not damage the discs themselves, fly ash particles might clog and impede the gas flow through the through the disc turbines as well as the inlet ports  

Removing the fly ash prior to the mercury (Hg) removal stage is recommended and can be done with existing state of the art technology such as electrostatic precipitation.  

combustion and natural gas mercury scrubber

Test & Validation Instrument Platform.

Benchtop Proof of Physics

UV photometers that detect mercury vapor are in the black plastic housings. One for the in-feed gas and one for the out-feed scrubbed gas. Both are comprised of a photo-diode and a UV LED spanning the aperture through which gas passes.

The air from a small compressor bubbles through the pool of mercury at the bottom of three tubes to make mercury vapor laden air to the feed the Tesla turbine.

The entire test platform uses 115 VAC @3A and a small air compressor to supply air to the mercury bubbler tubes.

A small amount of mercury is added to the bottom of each of the three bubbler tubes to enable the mercury infusion into the air as it bubbles through.

Bench-top Test Bed
Bench-top Test Bed

Two UV Photometers are electronically calibrated to read % clear air passing through them. A reading of 100 uA corresponds to 100% clear air. Any reading of less than 100 uA, shows occlusion of the UV light path by the passage of mercury vapor through said path and thus alters a signal voltage in the detector photo-diode. Thus mercury presence is indicated on both the inlet and outlet ammeters. A reading of 95 uA means 5% of the air volume passing through the inlet photometer aperture has mercury vapor in it.