The starting point for the development and finally successful implementation of the Mercury Reduction Plant “XMercury” was the Minamata Agreement launched by the UNEP in 2013, in which the cement industry was also required to make an important contribution to the reduction of global mercury emissions and inventiveness of the Wietersdorf technicians. Together with its project partners, w&p Zement GmbH saw this as an opportunity to take a pioneering role in its industry sector.
In 2013, the first preliminary tests were carried out on rotary kiln III in Wietersdorf. In 2015, the world’s first prototype plant was successfully put into operation after only six months of construction. After three years of trial operation, the “XMercury” system was put into full operation at the beginning of 2018. In the meantime, the second “XMercury” plant has already been built and put into operation in a German cement works.
With the installation of the “XMercury” plant at the Wietersdorf site, mercury emissions have been reduced by more than 80% over the past three years. Before operating the “XMercury” plant, typical monthly average levels of mercury of approximately 30-35 μg / Nm³ (ie approximately 30-40% below the currently valid limit value) were emitted. Currently, the monthly mean values are in the range of approx. 5 – 10 μg / Nm³ (ie> 90% below the currently valid limit value). The “XMercury” plant thus has a significant share in the ambitious goal of Wietersdorf cement plant of w&p Zement GmbH: to become one of the cleanest cement plants in the world.