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Harmful gases emitted from burning process of waste coverings used in agriculture

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

Citation:  Paper number  034147,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13891) @2003
Authors:   Chung-Hsing Wu, Shih-Tsung Chang
Keywords:   Agricultural Disposed Plastics, PAHs, Incineration, Gas Chromatography

The used plastic products in agricultural production have always found to be a problem to our environment, since the waste will not be decomposed in landfill. On the other hand, if we sent they into an incinerator, gases including CO, NOX, SOX, HCl, VOCs, and PAHs will be generated.

In this paper, we experiment with the burning of PE, PP, PVC, and PS. 10 grams of each of them were 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 burned 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 g 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 these plastics 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 these four plastics burned released 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 air-intake and/or the design of a secondary combustion 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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