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Mercury Recovery

FIS offer a comprehensive mercury recovery/decontamination service which will undertake site decontamination/spillage response throughout the UK. This is supported by a specialised mercury recovery plant at our Berwick facility.

The mercury recovery plant has the capacity to process up to 2 tonne batch quantities and is based on the breakdown of mercury compounds into metallic mercury followed by vacuum distillation to leave a residual ash which is suitable for reuse, recovery or disposed according to the current regulations, and a mercury fraction typically 99.99% pure.

This operation has been developed in direct response to environmental legislation restricting the land disposal of mercury wastes. The process is recognised as Best Environmental Practice by the Environment Agency and carries full IPPC authorisation and can be offered from our Facility in Berwick upon Tweed.

In addition, the Plant can handle a variety of mercury bearing wastes for treatment including:

  • Treatment of Lamp powder
  • Filter residues, filter media
  • Activated carbon contaminated with mercury
  • Treatment of Inorganic Mercury Lab Smalls
  • Treatment of Dental Amalgam
  • Catalysts
  • Batteries
  • Button cells
  • Contaminated equipment and pipework
  • Treatment of Mercury contaminated soil, Thermometers, Sphygs, PPE, and Plant equipment
  • Off site investigations, sampling and removal of plant & equipment for Mercury decontamination and recovery/ disposal.
  • Emergency spills


Mercury Legislation

Legislation concerning Recovery/ Disposal/Storage and Export of Hazardous waste and in particular Mercury and Mercury containing wastes is complex and continues to evolve.  The introduction of new legislation places evermore pressure on companies to ensure their waste is treated in a safe and responsible manner.

Following the introduction of:

  • Waste Framework Directive- introduced emphasis on waste hierarchy (prevention, re-use, recycling, recovery, disposal)- 2008/98/EC
  • Waste Acceptance Criteria – 2033/33/EC
  • Landfill Directive 1991/31/EC
  • Shipment of waste – 1013/2006

FIS are ideally placed to provide a solution for Mercury contaminated wastes which meets the Best Available Technique through its Mercury Recovery plant.

Currently there is a European Strategy concerning Mercury which was initiated in 2005 to phase out primary production of Mercury, stop surplus re-entering the market and phase out export of metallic Mercury from the EU by 2011.

Legislation EC No 1102/2008 as of 15th March 2011, metallic Mercury will be considered as waste and will need to be disposed of in accordance with Waste Framework Directive 2006/12/EC

  • Waste metallic Mercury which is gained from cleaning of natural gas
  • Metallic mercury which is no longer used in the chlor-alkali industry
  • Metallic mercury gained from non-ferrous mining and smelting operations
  • Metallic mercury extracted from cinnabar ore in the EU

Please contact FIS for further information and how we are able to assist you in recovery of your Mercury contaminated wastes.