Main content area

Emission characteristics of parent and halogenated PAHs in simulated municipal solid waste incineration

Li, Hong-Ying, Gao, Pan-Pan, Ni, Hong-Gang
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.665 pp. 11-17
air, air pollution, bottom ash, carcinogens, coagulation, emissions, emissions factor, municipal solid waste, organic carbon, pollutants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, urban areas, waste incineration, waste treatment
With a self-designed small-scale waste incinerator, emission behaviors of parent and halogenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs and HPAHs) were simulated and visualized. According to our results, the 2–3 ring PAHs have higher emission factors (EFs) than those of the 4–6 ring PAHs during waste incineration. The EFs of individual HPAHs are comparable in all incineration products. Overall, the EFs of Ʃ16PAH and Ʃ3ClPAH decreased in the order of gas > bottom ash > particle > fine particle while the EF order for Ʃ6BrPAH is bottom ash > particle > gas > fine particle. Based on qualitative observation, the size distributions of Σ16PAH, Σ3ClPAH, and Σ6BrPAH were characterized by trimodal peaks. Coagulation of fine particles in air may lead to enrichment of target compounds in the coarse particle fraction. The gas-particle partition did not reach theoretical equilibrium and most PAHs and HPAHs were absorbed inside the organic carbon. Estimated mass emission of target compounds in Shenzhen suggests that the gaseous phase from MSW incineration is the major contributor to the urban environment. However, automotive emissions contribute more to urban air pollution than MSW incineration in Shenzhen. Generally, compared with other real waste treatment, waste incineration is a more efficient method for waste-to-energy recovery and produces fewer pollutants, although the resultant carcinogenic substances are never truly harmless.