Mercury Flow Analysis: Case of Mercury-contained Lamp Products in South Korea and France
ISIE Conference 2015 - Taking stock of industrial ecology, Surrey, July 7-10
Mercury (Hg) has been used for various human activities, such as manufacturing or burning coal for fuel, for a long time, and is emitted to the air with elemental mercury, particle-bound mercury and oxidized mercury forms by human activities and from natural sources, such as volcanoes. As it is easily accumulated in ecosystem, it is notorious for its harmful effects on humans as well as higher levels of the food chain. However, until a recent date, mercury is used primarily for the manufacture of industrial chemicals or for electrical and electronic applications. Mercury containing items and chemicals are still used and old equipment and processes containing mercury may still be used in some facilities. Therefore, it is very important to quantify the mercury consumptions, flows and stocks in mercury-contained products in a national system. Material flow analysis (MFA) is a useful assessment method to shed light on the consumption, concentration, and accumulation of a specific material used in each boundary system, depending on the way the target material is traced. The purpose of this research is to review the characteristics and to quantify the flows of mercury emissions in lamp products in South Korea and France in order to establish an inventory for mercury. In the calculation, mercury import for lamp production and lamp products import, consumption, recycling and treatment were considered. Once the data was treated, two mercury flow maps (expressed in kilograms) were drawn. One represents flows and stocks of mercury-containing lamps and the other depicts flows and stocks of mercury in each country in 2012. Our results can be used for future national mercury inventory development, management and policy.