A Better Life with MgO: a flue gas desulphurisation process with a positive net environmental impact
LIFEPOSITIVEMgOFDG - a project co-financed under the EU's LIFE programme - is about designing and implementing a novel technique for air pollution abatement. The project is based at a pilot plant belonging to the mining and industrial company Grecian Magnesite (Yerakini site), and treats the flue gases generated by kilns that run on high sulphur content-fuels.
Under EU Legislation, the magnesium oxide sector must implement the Best Available Techniques (BATs) described in a special reference document (CLM BREF), in order to reduce its sulphur oxide emissions below specific limits.
The project's main objective was to investigate under which conditions magnesium oxide, a non-hazardous alkaline reagent, can be used economically and effectively as a desulphurisation reagent in the sector, in a process that minimises cross-media effects and respects circular economy principles, such as utilisation and valorisation of solid waste.
- The pilot plant is still in operation, even after the completion of the LIFE project.
- It processes 84 000 cubic metres of flue gases per hour, reducing their SO2 levels by 51%.
- 80% of the magnesium oxide sorbent used for desulphurisation is produced on-site from more than 20 000 tonnes of old mining waste.
- The pilot plant consumes 96% less water and 24% less energy than conventional wet desulphurisation plants.
- It produces over 12 000 tonnes of by-product per year that can be commercially exploited.
- The by-product was shown to be suitable for construction/cement applications and as a raw material for the production of fertilisers.
- 90% of the by-product will be available for commercial exploitation in the next 3 years.