EERC and partner launch new mercury control system

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

University of North Dakota


The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota announced today that a major corporate partner, Midwest Energy Emissions Corporation (ME2C), a research-oriented mercury emission capture company based in Grand Forks, North Dakota, is launching a new mercury control system. The sorbent enhancement additive (SEATM) injection technology originally developed by the EERC is being installed at a major power utility on the West Coast and will be commissioned this fall.

“Our mission is to deliver leading-edge, cost-effective solutions for mercury emission control in utility boilers around the world,” said John F. Norris, Jr., ME2C CEO, who recently visited ME2C’s research facilities at the EERC to review performance data developed for the initial West Coast utility client. “We are extremely pleased to have a proven mercury control technology that effectively reduces mercury emissions over a broad range of plant configurations and coal types,” said Norris.

ME2C is licensing an EERC-developed technology through the EERC Foundation, a separate, nonprofit corporation that provides the EERC with a dedicated infrastructure to support its commercialization activities. The EERC will provide installation and technical support throughout the commissioning and start-up of the technology, with ongoing assistance as needed to ensure optimal performance.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with Midwest Energy Emissions Corporation to provide our implementation and optimization expertise for commercial deployment of this technology,” said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. “Since the early 1990s, the EERC has been successfully developing, testing, and demonstrating a number of mercury control technologies in partnership with federal agencies, utilities, and coal companies throughout the United States and Canada. This technology is offered as a turnkey solution by ME2C to provide a simple, consistent, and economical solution for mercury removal to the coal-fired utility industry and other industrial units.”

“Currently, more than 1100 coal-fired power plants operate in North America, along with many more large industrial units,” said John Pavlish, EERC Senior Research Advisor and an inventor of the technology. “Numerous mercury regulations are driving the demand for new mercury control systems,” Pavlish said.

In the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to put new mercury regulations in place in November of this year. In Canada, many provinces are requiring more than 70% mercury reductions. The high cost of replacing or enhancing coal-fired boilers has created strong incentives for utilities to maximize their useful life and identify technologies that will satisfy these regulations without large capital expenditures.

“Uniquely formulated SEATM and sorbents provided by ME2C, both activated carbon and non-carbon-based, are proven to be more effective than back-end injection-only systems,” Norris said. “The system is also a drop-in replacement for existing activated carbon systems, which means the technology can utilize existing sorbent injection equipment with minimal or no modification, greatly improving mercury removal at significantly lower cost.”

Installation of the ME2C-supplied equipment for the first client is under way, with full commissioning taking place this October. The technology will be up and running by January 1, 2012.

About Midwest Energy Emissions Corporation

Midwest Energy Emissions Corporation (ME2C) operates as an innovative, research-oriented mercury emission capture company. ME2C strives to constantly advance the technology that exists in the emission control space. Its goal is to provide the best possible means of achieving balance between cost-effective energy production and the lowest possible emission impact on the environment.

ME2C does not endorse any one particular product or combination – rather, it challenges engineers and scientists to create and implement the best possible solutions to meet and exceed both existing and pending U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulated emission levels. For more information, visit

About the EERC

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) is a research, development, demonstration, and commercialization facility recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on mercury and developers of cleaner, more efficient energy technologies as well as environmental technologies to protect and clean our air, water, and soil. The EERC, a high-tech, nonprofit division of the University of North Dakota, operates like a business and pursues an entrepreneurial, market-driven approach to research and development in order to successfully demonstrate and commercialize innovative technologies. The EERC currently employs more than 330 people. For more information, visit