ABSTRACT: The metal emissions from three incinerators burning different feedstock in Taiwan were characterized in this study. It was found that the Incinerators A and B, treating pig carcasses and animal (including pigs) carcasses, respectively, had much higher metal concentrations in stack flue gases than Incinerator C that combusted medical wastes. However, Incinerator A obtained relative lower metal contents in fly ash and bottom ash than the other two incinerators, mainly because the former used a much lower feedstock rate (although burning at a lower temperature) than the latter. For all the incinerators, (1) Fe, Ni, Pb, and Zn were dominant in both the fly ash and bottom ash while most of the Cd and Pb (more volatile) were present in the fly ash; (2) Fe emission factor was the highest and Zn/Pb/Ni/Cr emission factors were greater than those of Mn/Cd/Cu; (3) the Cu emission factors in bottom ash were relatively higher in comparison with those in fly ash; and (4) indicatory metals were the same (Fe, Zn, Pb, and Cu). The metal emission factors obtained from the livestock incinerators were much higher than those reported from MSW incinerators. Likewise, crematories that burn human cadavers must create similar pollution issues since metal supplements are part of human's normal diets. This causes an environmental concern and this work has important ramifications both in technical and regulatory decisions.
Chemosphere 07/2004; 55(9):1197-205. · 3.21 Impact Factor