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Environ Sci Technol. 2013;47(21):12600-6.

Energy recovery and emissions of PBDD/Fs and PBDEs from cocombustion of woodchip and wastewater sludge in an industrial boiler.


The emissions of polybrominated dibenzo-pdioxins,dibenzofurans (PBDD/Fs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) from trial combustion of 10 wt % dried industrial wastewater-treatment sludge (IWTS) and 90 wt % woodchip in an industrial boiler were investigated and compared to that from woodchip combustion. The PBDD/F toxic equivalent (TEQ) andPBDE emissions increased from 0.121 pg TEQ Nm−3 and 2260 pgNm−3, respectively, of the woodchip combustion to 0.211 pg TEQNm−3 and 4200 pg Nm−3, respectively, of the trial combustion.PBDD/F and PBDE congener profiles of inputs and outputs of the same type of combustion were similar; they also show similarity between woodchip and trial combustions, revealing that the destruction pathway was little affected by the introduction of the IWTS. The fates of PBDD/Fs and PBDEs show that the indigenous pollutants in the feed were effectively depleted (>93.5%). The dominant releasing route of PBDD/F and PBDE shifted from the stack flue gas of woodchip combustion to the ashes of trial combustion. This study demonstrates that co-combustion not only handles the fast growing sludge stream but also yields a saving of 26.3% in the fuel cost and treatment fees of sludge and ashes.

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