Efforts to reduce global man-made mercury emissions established by the Minamata Convention on Mercury continue to command the attention of specialty chemicals manufacturer Albemarle Corp., Baton Rouge, La.

The Minamata Convention was opened for signature in October 2013 at a Diplomatic Conference in Kumamoto/Minamata, Japan, in response to the need to develop a global, legally binding instrument to regulate man-made mercury emissions. The text of the new Minamata Convention requires facilities “to control, and where feasible, reduce” atmospheric mercury emissions from sources including coal-fired power plants, waste incinerators and cement clinker facilities. To date, 94 countries have signed the Minamata Convention, including the United States, the majority of EU member states, the EU itself and China. The United States was the first and, to date, only country that has ratified it.

According to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), mercury emissions from coal combustion are one of the largest contributors to man-made atmospheric mercury emissions globally. The new convention is a step forward in addressing this worldwide challenge.

Albemarle will continue to monitor the further ratification and implementation of the convention’s regulations and provide stakeholders and customers with expertise and technical solutions for mercury emissions control. Through its Mercury Control division, Albemarle offers mercury sorbents, advanced injection systems, bromine chemicals, and mercury testing and demonstration services to the industrial boiler, coal-fired utility and cement kiln markets.