Mercury control technology being tested at Southern Company wins award

ATLANTA – An innovative mercury control technology being tested by Southern Company, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and eight other project partners, has won a R&D 100 Award. The technology, developed by ADA-Environmental Solutions (ADA-ES), is part of a Department of Energy (DOE) field-testing project to assess the long-term performance and reliability of activated carbon injection in removing mercury from the flue gas of coal-fired power plants.

The R&D 100 award, presented by R&D Magazine, recognizes the top 100 most technologically significant products of the year. Southern Company is testing the advanced mercury control technology at its E.C. Gaston electric generation plant, which is owned and operated by the company’s Alabama Power subsidiary.

As part of the process, activated carbon and potentially other materials, known as sorbents, are injected upstream of an existing baghouse system designed to collect flyash. These sorbents adsorb the mercury, which could result in substantial emissions reduction. The process of injecting sorbents, such as activated carbon, for mercury control before a baghouse but after an electrostatic precipitator is an EPRI-patented process called TOXECONTM.

“This award recognizes significant technological efforts being made to reduce mercury emissions,” said Charles Goodman, senior vice president of research and environmental affairs for Southern Company. “We’re proud that our efforts to advance the technology are being recognized. We believe it will prove beneficial as the industry seeks cost-effective, efficient ways to control mercury emissions.”

Plant Gaston was the site chosen by DOE for the nation’s first full-scale mercury control testing in 2000. The initial work on the technology was completed in 2001, with an average mercury reduction of 80 percent achieved. Last year, Plant Gaston was selected by the DOE to continue testing the mercury control technology. Second-phase testing began in April of this year.

“Winning this award is a tribute to the diligent efforts and expertise of the ADA-ES engineering staff and its partners,” said Dr. Michael Durham, President of ADA-ES. “It recognizes the success in advancing the technology from pilot-scale to the extremely challenging large-scale power-plant application.”

Southern Company and Alabama Power are working with ADA-ES, EPRI, Alleghany Energy, Arch Coal Inc. (ACI), Duke Energy, FirstEnergy, Hamon Research-Cottrell, Ontario Power Generation and TVA. DOE funds 55 percent of the $2.1 million project cost, with Alabama Power and the other participating companies co-funding the remaining 45 percent.

ADA Environmental Solutions, LLC is an environmental technology and specialty chemical company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado. The company brings 25 years of experience to improve profitability for electric power and industrial companies through proprietary products and systems that mitigate environmental impact while reducing operating costs. ADA-ES is a subsidiary of Earth Sciences, whose common stock trades on the OTCBB under the symbol ESCI.

With 4 million customers and nearly 39,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier super-regional energy company in the Southeast and a leading U.S. producer of electricity. Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states, a growing competitive generation company, an energy services business and a competitive retail natural gas business, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are 15 percent below the national average. Southern Company has been named two consecutive years No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s “America’s Most Admired Companies” list in the Electric and Gas Utility industry. Southern Company has been ranked the nation’s top energy utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index four years in a row, and in the latest survey tied for the highest score among all service industry companies. Southern Company has more than 500,000 shareholders, making its common stock one of the most widely held in the United States. Visit the Southern Company Web site at

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