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Volatility and partitioning of Cd and Pb during sewage sludge thermal conversion

Zhang, Yi-fan, Zhang, Shou-yu, Mao, Qing, Li, Hao, Wang, Cai-wei, Jiang, Feng-hao, Lyu, Jun-fu
Waste management 2018 v.75 pp. 333-339
cadmium, lead, oxygen, pollution, pyrolysis, sewage sludge, temperature, thermal properties, thermogravimetry, waste management
In this paper, the thermal characteristics of sewage sludge and the transformation behavior of Pb and Cd during the thermal conversion process were addressed. The incineration process and pyrolysis process of the sewage sludge were investigated by thermogravimetric analysis. The results indicated that the thermal conversion process of the sewage sludge could be divided into three stages and the presence of oxygen could accelerate the decomposition of the sewage sludge. Furthermore, the effects of thermal conditions on the concentration ratio of Cd and Pb and their species partitioning in the residual char and ash were investigated. For the pyrolysis process, the maximum concentration ratio of Cd reached 41.64% at 500 °C and the lowest one 2.92% at 700 °C. Contrary, the concentration ratio of Pb remained above 93% as the temperature increased. Thus, the suitable temperature for the sewage sludge pyrolysis was below 500 °C. For the incineration process, the incineration temperature had great influence on the concentration ratio of Cd and Pb. When the incineration temperature increased from 700 °C to 900 °C, the concentration ratio of Cd decreased drastically from 99.32% to 10.96%. The maximum concentration ratio for Pb (95.31%) was reached at 800 °C. Besides, the lowest concentration ratio of Cd and Pb were obtained at a residence time of 30 min. The partitioning analyses of the Cd and Pb contained in the ash showed that the residence time had little effect on the partitioning of Cd and Pb, and the residual fractions of Cd and Pb were both above 90%. It was concluded that Cd and Pb were properly stabilized in the ash. Thus, Cd and Pb in the ash were difficult to be released into the environment and to cause secondary pollution.