Mercury management in non-ferrous metal industry in China – a baseline study

The Non-Ferrous metal (NFM) industry (producing e.g. Copper, Zink and Lead) is a major source of mercury emissions to the atmosphere. In 2011 there were over 8 000 smelters for NFM in China with varying production capacity and technological status. Emissions of mercury are controlled by mercury contents in ores or concentrates, the process technology used in the specific plant, the presence of air pollution control technologies, or mercury capture technologies. The development of emission inventories is thus complex and requires large amounts of information. In this report available information on China´s NFM sector is presented along with a summary of existing emission estimates for mercury. Finally, recommendations for improvement of these emission inventories are provided.

This study was initiated within the framework of the bilateral environmental cooperation agreement between Sweden and China, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection in China (MEP). The two authorities started cooperating on mercury, in conjunction with the first international negotiating meeting on a global binding instrument on mercury, held in Stockholm in June 2010. In 2012, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute was appointed to lead a base-line study with the aim to compile available information on mercury emissions from the non-ferrous metal industry in China, along with information on abatement measures other sector information.

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