National inventory of mercury release into different phase media estimated by UNEP Toolkit in South Korea

Deepak Pudasainee, Yong Chil Seo, Jeong Hun Kim, Ji Hyung Hong, Jung Min Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper summarizes the national inventory of mercury release into all media (air, water, land, impurity in products, general wastes and sector specific disposal) from South Korea, using UNEP mercury Toolkit. Total mercury input and release, distribution into different media, major contributors by source categories are discussed. The total quantified mercury release into different phase media was 284.0 t/y and 281.3 t/y in Level 1 and 2 estimation, respectively. Mercury release from primary metal production, waste incineration, extraction and use of fuels/energy sources were dominant. The replacement of output distribution factors in the Toolkit by real data from mass balance study in the anthropogenic sources resulted decrease in the share of mercury emission into air from 20.6% to 9.6%. Comparison of mercury releases into the atmosphere estimated by the Toolkit Level 2 with real distribution factors data and our earlier estimation with measurements in the selected industries showed only a little discrepancy, with reasonable variation. These differences are due to the use of efficient process technology and air pollution control devices. Since most mercury is released in waste and byproducts, recovery and safe storage issues are to be emphasized in the future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-638
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Pollution Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) 2014.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Atmospheric Science


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