Mercury capture by fly ash C was investigated at five lignite- and subbituminous-coal-burning Bulgarian power plants (Republika, Bobov Dol, Maritza East 2, Maritza East 3, and Sliven). Although the C content of the ashes is low, never exceeding 1.6%, the Hg capture on a unit C basis demonstrates that the low-rank-coal-derived fly ash carbons are more efficient in capturing Hg than fly ash carbons from bituminous-fired power plants. While some low-C and low-Hg fly ashes do not reveal any trends of Hg versus C, the 2nd and, in particular, the 3rd electrostatic precipitator (ESP) rows at the Republika power plant do have sufficient fly ash C range and experience flue gas sufficiently cool to capture measurable amounts of Hg. The Republika 3rd ESP row exhibits an increase in Hg with increasing C, as observed in other power plants, for example, in Kentucky power plants burning Appalachian-sourced bituminous coals. Mercury/C decreases with an increase in fly ash C, suggesting that some of the C is isolated from the flue gas stream and does not contribute to Hg capture. Mercury capture increases with an increase in Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area and micropore surface area. The differences in Hg capture between the Bulgarian plants burning low-rank coal and high volatile bituminous-fed Kentucky power plants suggests that the variations in C forms resulting from the combustion of the different ranks also influence the efficiency of Hg capture. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.