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Chemosphere. 2002 Mar;46(9-10):1263-72.

Formation and destruction of PCDD/F inside a grate furnace.

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  • 1Institut für Technische Chemie Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Bereich Thermische Abfallehandlung, Postfach Germany.


Formation and destruction of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans PCDD/F during the combustion process was investigated experimentally in a pilot plant. All important process steps like the burnout of the fuel bed on the grate, the burnout of the flue gas inside the combustion chamber, the heat recovery in a boiler as well as influences of the fuel composition are described in detail. High concentrations especially of PCDF are formed during the burnout of the fuel bed. The formation reaction is mainly influenced by the fuel composition and the burnout characteristic of the fuel bed. Fuels with low chlorine and low metal content (Cu) result only in negligible concentrations of PCDD/F. Under stable combustion conditions characterized by an excellent flue gas burnout PCDD/F will almost be completely destroyed already inside the combustion chamber. "Cold strands" of unburned flue gas (high CO concentrations) caused by disturbed combustion conditions will result in high concentrations of PCDD and especially of PCDF in the raw gas. A second place of PCDD/F formation is the well-known boiler section. Here fly ash deposits containing residual carbon (mainly soot particles) are the source for the formation reaction. Under stationary effective combustion conditions, they are dominant for PCDD/F concentrations in the raw gas over a very long period of time. Stationary efficient flue gas burnout (especially soot) together with effective boiler cleaning will guaranty low concentrations of PCDD/F in the flue gas in front of the flue gas cleaning system.

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