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The EERC is a worldwide leader in mercury measurement and control and has tremendous expertise and equipment to address virtually any mercury-related question. The ability to accurately and reliably measure mercury is fundamental to demonstrating compliance with the regulations issued in the Clean Air Mercury Rule and assessing commercialization potential of various mercury control technologies. In the mid-1990s, the EERC validated the Ontario Hydro (OH) mercury speciation method and coauthored ASTM International (ASTM) D6784-02, the OH method.

The Mobile Laboratories

The EERC is unique because it can sample and analyze mercury in the field while maintaining exceptionally high quality control and quality assurance standards. The EERC has a number of sophisticated mobile labs that have been used for extensive mercury sampling and technology performance verification. Sampling crews travel to field locations, spending up to several months at a time evaluating baseline mercury emission levels and the effectiveness of control technologies.

These trailers used as mobile laboratories house all of the equipment necessary to perform a number of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methods, including Methods 5 and 17 for particulate sampling, EPA Method 29 for mercury and trace elements, and EPA Method 30B and ASTM D6784-02 (the OH method) for mercury measurement. This includes sampling boxes, probes, weighing scales, filters, filter holders, and any railings that may be necessary. However, what makes EERC capabilities unique is the ability to do mercury sampling and analysis in the field. In doing so, the EERC maintains an exceptionally high level of quality control and quality assurance.

Field Analysis

Because the mercury blank and spike results are obtained in the field (usually within 4–6 hours), any problems can be corrected immediately. If the samples are sent to a laboratory for analyses, the results are not known until after the sampling team has left the facility. To do the mercury analysis in the field, the EERC trailer is equipped with a Leeman cold-vapor atomic adsorption spectrophotometer and a DMA-80 analyzer (Milestone, Inc). The DMA-80 allows the EERC to do coal and ash mercury analysis in the field. This technique was recently validated as EPA Method 7473, entitled "Mercury in Solids and Solutions by Thermal Decomposition, Amalgamation, and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry."

For more information on how the EERC can assist you with your mercury measurement and control needs, contact Mike Holmes, Deputy Associate Director for Research, at (701) 777-5276 or