Geothermal Power Plants At Mt Amiata (Tuscany-Italy)- Mercury And Hydrogen Sulphide Deposition Revealed By Vegetation
Journal Article: Geothermal Power Plants At Mt Amiata (Tuscany-Italy)- Mercury And Hydrogen Sulphide Deposition Revealed By Vegetation
AbstractAt Mt. Amiata (Italy) geothermal energy is used, since 1969, to generate electricity in five plants with a nominal capacity of 88 MW. Anomalous levels of mercury characterise geothermal fluids of Mt. Amiata, an area renowned for its vast cinnabar deposits and for the mercury production carried out in the past. Mercury emission rates range from 300 to 400 g/h, or 3-4 g/h per MW electrical installed capacity. These emissions are coupled with a release of 7-8 kg/(h MW) of hydrogen sulphide (H2S). Mercury is discharged as Hg0 gaseous species and reaches the atmosphere with the non-condensable gas fraction. In this fraction, CO2 is the major component (94-98%), H2S is around 1% and mercury concentration is as high as 1-10 mg/Nm3. Leaves of a spontaneous grass (Avena sterilis), at the end of the vegetative cycle, were used as mercury bioconcentrators to map deposition near geothermal power plants and to calculate the corresponding average levels of Hg0 in the air. Direct measurements of mercury and hydrogen sulphide vapours in the air reached by power plant emissions showed a ratio of about 1-2000. This ratio was applied to calculate average levels of hydrogen sulphide starting from mercury deposition mapping: typical concentrations of mercury and hydrogen sulphide were of the order of 10-20 ng/m3 and 20-40 μg/m3, respectively.
- E. Bacci, C. Gaggi, E. Lanzillotti, S. Ferrozzi and L. Valli
- Published Journal
- Chemosphere, 2000
E. Bacci,C. Gaggi,E. Lanzillotti,S. Ferrozzi,L. Valli. 2000. Geothermal Power Plants At Mt Amiata (Tuscany-Italy)- Mercury And Hydrogen Sulphide Deposition Revealed By Vegetation. Chemosphere. (!) .