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An Investigation on Gases Released from Incineration of Agricultural Waste Plastics

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  024201,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.10941) @2002
Authors:   Chung-Hsing Wu, Shih-Tsung Chang
Keywords:   Agricultural Waste Plastics, PAHs, Incineration, GC/MASS

The agricultural waste plastic products have always been a problem to our environment. It is mainly because that to landfill the products, the substances will not be decomposed. On the other hand, if we adopt the process of incineration, there would get the toxic gas as CO, NOX, SOX, HCl, VOCs, and PAHs.

In this paper, we experiment with the burning of PE, PP, PVC, and PS. 10 grams of each of them are put into a sampling bottle to undergo the burning at the fixed temperature of 540C. The results we got indicate that the specific burning rate for PE, PP, PVC, and PS is 0.04, 0.024, 0.028 and 0.036 g/sec respectively, which can be ranked as PE > PS > PVC > PP. The PAHs discharged from the incinerations PE, PP, PVC, and PS are 0.431, 0.145, 0.282, and 0.282 g/m3 with a ratio of 3:1:2:6 among the plastics we burn, and the total gas discharge is 0.095, 0.056, 0.093, and 0.223 respectively with a ratio of 2:1:2:4. Such PAHs analysis suggests that PS will release the highest concentration of PAHs, and PP will release the lowest PAHs. The average discharge of CO during the incineration of PE, PP, PVC, and PS is 1469, 4225, 2865, and 1828 ppm, respectively for PE, PP, PVC, and PS; the average discharge of NO is 25, 2, 48, and 109 ppm. The average discharge of SO2 is 57, 51, 62, and 99 ppm. None of the four plastics burned gives off NO2.

Our experiment indicates that PP releases more CO than PE, PVC and PS. PS, while discharges little CO, releases the highest of other gases, i.e. NO and SO2, than any other three plastics. The discharge of CO can be improved by the control of airintake and/or the design of a secondary combust chamber. The chlorine atoms and dioxin that PVC tends to discharge during incineration, however, is hazardous and difficult to get over with. We, therefore, suggest that problem be solved in plastic products, i.e. to shun the production of PVC and PS, and replace them with PP or PE.

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