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Flue gas cleaning and residue handling in MSW incineration plants

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Some of the criteria which a flue gas cleaning system must satisfy have already been considered (in section 7.3):

– dust precipitation (silicates, heavy metal oxides, salts)

– aerosol precipitation (HCl aerosols, ammonium salts, metallic mercury)

– hazardous gas precipitation (hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid and nitrogen oxides, dioxins/furans)

But why must these requirements be met at all? The materials that would otherwise precipitate pose the following dangers to living beings:

– Dusts: Fine dusts (PM 10: The diameter is smaller than 10 μm, i. e. smaller than 1 hundredth of a millimetre) can penetrate the lungs to the alveoli and therefore gain direct access to the blood circulation! Heavy metals – a component of these dusts – cannot be metabolized and can hence accumulate in the food chain (e.g. mercury in fish, cadmium in root vegetables and in animal bowels). They create the following complications:

– Lead → chronic poison to bone, teeth, brain

– Cadmium → carcinogenic

– Mercury → kidney damage, central nervous system failure

– Copper→inflammation to the digestive tract

– Noxious gases: They can cause breathlessness and skin irritations and are also a cause of acid rain. This leads to the over-acidification of the ground and of watercourses, thereby causing the demise of both land and water creatures.

It is clear that to accomplish the different tasks on this list the system cannot consist of a single component but must comprise several stages (see list of flue gas cleaning equipment in section 7.3). A flue gas cleaning system needs to combine several types of equipment and processes to fulfil the following criteria:

– Compliance with all government regulations regarding emission levels (dust, hazardous gases, heavy metal compounds, dioxins/furans) as required in TA Luft '86 (Technical Regulation for Air 1986) or respectively in the 17th BlmSchV '90 (Federal Regulation for Pollution) for Germany or LRV '91 (Clean Air Act Order) for Switzerland, applying to all operating stages. The LRV and 17th BImSchV dictate that, for dry flue gas in the normal state (0 °C, 1'013 mbar) with 11 Vol% of oxygen, the following maximum values for plants which incinerate MSW- and special waste (values in mg/m3):

– Minimisation of hazardous residue production (heavy metal compounds) because this residue poisons landfills

– Recycling of all useable materials (hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, gypsum, cooking salt) provided that buyers are available

>– Minimisation of consumption of energy and resources

– High reliability and operating safety because there can be no “holidays” for municipal solid waste incineration.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3726/978-3-0351-0498-1_8

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Waste Management
    Ever since abandoning the nomadic lifestyle, mankind has been fighting with the disposal problems caused by everyday life's wastes. This book presents the history of this dilemma and the technical solutions available on the market today. The first part provides an overview of the history of mankind and its waste. The tendencies in Europe and the current legislations for Switzerland and Europe are explained. A look beyond the borders of Europe to other continents shows that there the local residents are presently fighting with the same problems as Europe did at the beginning of the 20th century. The second part deals more closely with waste definition, the technical possibilities to recycle waste and the processes to treat non-recyclable waste so that it can be safely brought back into the environment. The book discusses municipal and industrial wastes, hazardous wastes, sewage sludges, landfill and contaminated site problems or biogenic wastes.
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