Behavior of PCNs, PCDDs, PCDFs, and dioxin-like PCBs in the thermal destruction of wastes containing PCNs

Noma, Y; Yamamoto, T; Giraud, R; Sakai, S (2006) Chemosphere, 62(7): 1183-1195

In the first known study to characterize the emissions of polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) from the thermal treatment of wastes containing PCNs, the formation and decomposition behavior of these pollutants was investigated both at laboratory scale and at plant scale. Exhaust gas measurements from laboratory-scale combustion of rubber belts containing PCNs (1713 belts) were used as the basis for calculations predicting that the incremental dioxin toxic equivalency (TEQ) emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) incinerators would be less than 0.1 ng/m(3) N. In order to directly examine co-incineration of 1713 belts with MSW and to address potential differences between the laboratory experiment and full-scale MSW incinerators, experiments were conducted using a larger scale thermal treatment test facility with sampling and analysis at several points in the thermal treatment process. Congener specific analysis of PCNs clearly showed that both destruction and synthesis simultaneously occurred during combustion in the kiln. Most of the PCNs were destroyed by secondary combustion, and almost all PCNs were removed after flue gas treatment. Almost all PCDDs/DFs were synthesized as by-products of kiln combustion, most of them were destroyed by the secondary combustion, and almost all dioxins (PCDDs/DFs and dl-PCBs) were removed after flue gas treatment. The TEQ emission levels were less than 0.1 ng/m(3) N for all plant-scale tests, and differences in TEQ emission levels were very small. Adding wastes containing PCNs to MSW will not influence thermal treatment emissions to the environment from modern solid waste incinerators.