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Flow-through sorbent comprising a metal sulfide

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Title: Flow-through sorbent comprising a metal sulfide.
Abstract: A flow-through sorbent comprising at least 30 wt % of a metal sulfide, and a binder. The sorbent may be used, for example, for the removal of a contaminant, such as mercury, from a fluid stream. ...

Corning Incorporated - Browse recent Corning patents - Corning, NY, US
Inventors: Kishor Purushottam Gadkaree, Anbo Liu, Joseph Frank Mach
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120115717 - Class: 502401 (USPTO) - 05/10/12 - Class 502 
Catalyst, Solid Sorbent, Or Support Therefor: Product Or Process Of Making > Solid Sorbent >Organic

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120115717, Flow-through sorbent comprising a metal sulfide.

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This application is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/129798 filed on May 30, 2008, the content of which is relied upon and incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, and the benefit of priority under 35 U.S.C. §120 is hereby claimed.


This disclosure relates to certain flow-through sorbents comprising a metal sulfide. The sorbents may be used, for example, for the removal of a contaminant, such as mercury, from a fluid stream.


Hazardous contaminant emissions have become environmental issues of increasing concern because of the dangers posed to human health. For instance, coal-fired power plants and medical waste incineration are major sources of human activity related mercury emission into the atmosphere.

It is estimated that there are 48 tons of mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants in the United States annually. One DOE-Energy Information Administration annual energy outlook projected that coal consumption for electricity generation will increase from 976 million tons in 2002 to 1,477 million tons in 2025 as the utilization of coal-fired generation capacity increases. However, mercury emission control regulations have not been rigorously enforced for coal-fired power plants. A major reason is a lack of effective control technologies available at a reasonable cost, especially for elemental mercury control.

A technology currently in use for controlling elemental mercury as well as oxidized mercury is activated carbon injection (ACI). The ACI process involves injecting activated carbon powder into a flue gas stream and using a fabric filter or electrostatic precipitator to collect the activated carbon powder that has sorbed mercury. ACI technologies generally require a high C:Hg ratio to achieve the desired mercury removal level (>90%), which results in a high portion cost for sorbent material. The high C:Hg ratio indicates that ACI does not utilize the mercury sorption capacity of carbon powder efficiently.

An activated carbon packed bed can reach high mercury removal levels with more effective utilization of sorbent material. However, a typical powder or pellet packed bed has a very high pressure drop, which significantly reduces energy efficiency. Further, these fixed beds are generally an interruptive technology because they require frequent replacement of the sorbent material depending on the sorption capacity.

Activated carbon honeycombs disclosed in US 2007/0261557 may be utilized to achieve high removal levels of contaminants such as toxic metals. The inventors have now discovered new materials for flow-through sorbents, such as honeycombs, which are described herein.


One embodiment of the invention is a flow-through sorbent comprising: at least 30 wt % of a metal sulfide; and a binder.

Exemplary flow-through sorbents include, for example, any structure comprising channels, porous networks, or any other passages that would permit the flow of a fluid stream through the sorbent. For instance, the flow-through sorbent may be a monolith or an arrangement of interconnected structures through which a fluid steam may pass. The flow-through sorbent may be a honeycomb sorbent comprising an inlet end, an outlet end, and a multiplicity of cells extending from the inlet end to the outlet end, the cells being defined by intersecting porous cell walls. The honeycomb sorbent could optionally comprise one or more selectively plugged honeycomb cell ends to provide a wall flow-through structure that allows for more intimate contact between a fluid stream and cell walls.

The flow-through sorbents comprise at least 30 wt % of a metal sulfide. For example, the flow-through sorbents may comprise at least 35 wt %, at least 40 wt %, at least 45 wt %, at least 50 wt %, at least 55 wt %, at least 60 wt %, at least 65 wt %, at least 70 wt %, at least 75 wt %, or at least 80 wt % of a metal sulfide. The wt % of a metal sulfide is calculated on the basis of the total weight of the sorbent body, and may be determined using any suitable analytical technique, such as mass spectroscopy.

Exemplary metal sulfides include sulfides of manganese, copper, palladium, molybdenum, or tungsten, and combinations thereof. The metal element in the metal sulfide, however, is not limited to those examples. For example, the metal element in the metal sulfides may be selected from alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, transition metals, rare earth metals (including lanthanoids), and other metals such as aluminum, gallium, indium, tin, lead, thallium and bismuth. The weight percent of metal sulfides includes the weight percent of all metal sulfides in the sorbent.

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