It is a current practice that refrigerators and freezers in many countries are shredded after the end of useful lives. The shredder residue is deposited in landfills. During the shredding process a significant fraction of blowing agent (BA) in the insulation foam may be released into the atmosphere. The objective of this study is to determine the fraction of BA released from foam during shredding, by comparing the BA content in insulation foam of refrigerator units before shredding with the BA content of shredded foam. All foam samples analyzed were manufactured with trichlorofluoromethane [CFC-11 (CCl3F)] as BA. The average content of BA in the insulation foam from eight U.S. refrigerator units manufactured before 1993 was found to be 14.9% +/- 3.3% w/w. Several refrigerator units also identified as being manufactured before 1993 were stockpiled and shredded at three shredder facilities, of which one was operated in both wet and dry modes. The selected shredder facilities represent typical American facilities for shredding automobiles, refrigerators, freezers, and other iron containing waste products. Shredded material was collected and separated on location into four particle size categories: more than 32 mm, 16-32 mm, 8-16 mm, and 0-8 mm. Adjusting for sample purity, it was found that the majority (>81%) of the foam mass was shredded into particles larger than 16 mm. The smallest size fraction of foam (0-8 mm) was found to contain significantly less BA than the larger size categories, showing that up to 68% +/- 4% of the BA is released from these fine particles during the shredding process. Because only a minor fraction of the foam is shredded into particles smaller than 8 mm, this has a minor impact on the end result when calculating the total BA release from the shredding process. Comparing BA content in shredded samples from the three shredder facilities with the measured average BA content of the eight refrigerator units, it was found that on average 24.2% +/- 7.5% of the initial BA content is released during the shredding process.
"Blowing agent, which is a gaseous compound, improves the insulating capability of the foam by limiting heat transfer, and, thus, reduces the energy consumption (Yazıcı, 2012). Since the foam is surrounded by the inner and outer walls of refrigerator, air movement through the foam is minimal, and therefore, the loss of blowing agent by diffusion is almost negligible (Scheutz et al., 2007). CFC-11 (trichlorofluoromethane), which is one of the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was first synthesized in 1930s. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to predict the number of refrigerators containing CFC-11 blown isolation foam and the amount of CFC-11 banked in these refrigerators. By using a Weibull-based survival function, the number of CFC-11 containing and still-functioning refrigerators was estimated to be approximately 1.6 million in 2013 in Turkey. In order to determine the amount of CFC-11 in the isolation foam of these refrigerators, polyurethane (PU) foam samples were taken from a refrigerator manufactured in 1993 and the quantity of CFC-11 was analyzed by a GC-MS. It was determined that 113-195mg CFC-11/g PU remains in the PU foam depending on the location such as door, sides, top and bottom. Knowing that a mid-sized refrigerator contains 4kg PU on average, the total amount of PU foam to be disposed of is 6344tons when the CFC-11 containing refrigerators in Turkey become obsolete in the near future. Furthermore, 717-1237tons of CFC-11 are expected to be banked in the PU foam of these refrigerators which will exert an equivalent amount of ozone depleting potential (ODP). In addition, the global warming potential will vary between 3.4 and 5.9 milliontons of CO2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have been used as blowing agents (BAs) for foam insulation in home appliances and building materials, which after the end of their useful life are disposed of in landfills. The objective of this project was to evaluate the potential for degradation of BAs in landfills, and to develop a landfill model, which could simulate the fate of BAs in landfills. The investigation was performed by use of anaerobic microcosm studies using different types of organic waste and anaerobic digested sludge as inoculum. The BAs studied were CFC-11, CFC-12, HCFC-141b, HFC-134a, and HFC-245fa. Experiments considering the fate of some of the expected degradations products of CFC-11 and CFC-12 were included like HCFC-21, HCFC-22, HCFC-31, HCFC-32, and HFC-41. Degradation of all studied CFCs and HCFCs was observed regardless the type of waste used. In general, the degradation followed first-order kinetics. CFC-11 was rapidly degraded from 590 microg L(-1) to less than 5 microg L(-1) within 15-20 days. The degradation pattern indicated a sequential production of HCFC-21, HCFC-31, and HFC-41. However, the production of degradation products did not correlate with a stoichiometric removal of CFC-11 indicating that other degradation products were produced. HCFC-21 and HCFC-31 were further degraded whereas no further degradation of HFC-41 was observed. The degradation rate coefficient was directly correlated with the number of chlorine atoms attached to the carbon. The highest degradation rate coefficient was obtained for CFC-11, whereas lower rates were seen for HCFC-21 and HCFC-31. Equivalent results were obtained for CFC-12. HCFC-141b was also degraded with rates comparable to HCFC-21 and CFC-12. Anaerobic degradation of the studied HFCs was not observed in any of the experiments within a run time of up to 200 days. The obtained degradation rate coefficients were used as input for an extended version of an existing landfill fate model incorporating a time dependent BA release from co-disposed foam insulation waste. Predictions with the model indicate that the emission of foam released BAs may be strongly attenuated by microbial degradation reactions. Sensitivity analysis suggests that there is a need for determination of degradation rates under more field realistic scenarios.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from post-consumer waste and wastewater are a small contributor (about 3%) to total global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Emissions for 2004-2005 totalled 1.4 Gt CO2-eq year(-1) relative to total emissions from all sectors of 49 Gt CO2-eq year(-1) [including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and F-gases normalized according to their 100-year global warming potentials (GWP)]. The CH4 from landfills and wastewater collectively accounted for about 90% of waste sector emissions, or about 18% of global anthropogenic methane emissions (which were about 14% of the global total in 2004). Wastewater N2O and CO2 from the incineration of waste containing fossil carbon (plastics; synthetic textiles) are minor sources. Due to the wide range of mature technologies that can mitigate GHG emissions from waste and provide public health, environmental protection, and sustainable development co-benefits, existing waste management practices can provide effective mitigation of GHG emissions from this sector. Current mitigation technologies include landfill gas recovery, improved landfill practices, and engineered wastewater management. In addition, significant GHG generation is avoided through controlled composting, state-of-the-art incineration, and expanded sanitation coverage. Reduced waste generation and the exploitation of energy from waste (landfill gas, incineration, anaerobic digester biogas) produce an indirect reduction of GHG emissions through the conservation of raw materials, improved energy and resource efficiency, and fossil fuel avoidance. Flexible strategies and financial incentives can expand waste management options to achieve GHG mitigation goals; local technology decisions are influenced by a variety of factors such as waste quantity and characteristics, cost and financing issues, infrastructure requirements including available land area, collection and transport considerations, and regulatory constraints. Existing studies on mitigation potentials and costs for the waste sector tend to focus on landfill CH4 as the baseline. The commercial recovery of landfill CH4 as a source of renewable energy has been practised at full scale since 1975 and currently exceeds 105 Mt CO2-eq year(-1). Although landfill CH4 emissions from developed countries have been largely stabilized, emissions from developing countries are increasing as more controlled (anaerobic) landfilling practices are implemented; these emissions could be reduced by accelerating the introduction of engineered gas recovery, increasing rates of waste minimization and recycling, and implementing alternative waste management strategies provided they are affordable, effective, and sustainable. Aided by Kyoto mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI), the total global economic mitigation potential for reducing waste sector emissions in 2030 is estimated to be > 1000 Mt CO2-eq (or 70% of estimated emissions) at costs below 100 US$ t(-1) CO2-eq year(-1). An estimated 20-30% of projected emissions for 2030 can be reduced at negative cost and 30-50% at costs < 20 US$ t(-) CO2-eq year(-1). As landfills produce CH4 for several decades, incineration and composting are complementary mitigation measures to landfill gas recovery in the short- to medium-term--at the present time, there are > 130 Mt waste year(-1) incinerated at more than 600 plants. Current uncertainties with respect to emissions and mitigation potentials could be reduced by more consistent national definitions, coordinated international data collection, standardized data analysis, field validation of models, and consistent application of life-cycle assessment tools inclusive of fossil fuel offsets.
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