PCDD/F levels and phase distributions in a full-scale municipal solid waste incinerator with co-incinerating sewage sludge

Rigang Zhong, Chen Wang*, Zuotai Zhang*, Qingcai Liu, Zongwei CAI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Co-incinerating sewage sludge in municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs) is an up-to-date disposal way with great prospects to market. To verify the environmental safety of this disposal method, a field study was conducted in a MSWI which has achieved PCDD/Fs ultra-low emission. PCDD/F phase partitioning characteristics, congener profiles, and the influence of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) were also investigated. PCDD/F emission levels ranged from 0.0031 to 0.0053 ng I-TEQ/Nm3, distinctly lower than the national standard. For tests co-incinerating 5% sludge, PCDD/F emission levels were averagely 32% lower than tests mono-combusting municipal solid waste. The phase partitioning study found that PCDD/Fs enriched in condensed water took a non-negligible proportion of the total concentration in flue gas. The removal efficiency of SCR in tests co-incinerating sludge was averaged at 41.9%. However, in tests without adding sewage sludge, PCDD/F concentrations in flus gas after SCR were increased. It was found that the elevations were mainly attributed to the increase of low-chlorinated PCDF congeners in gas-phase. By inference, memory effect existing in SCR might be responsible for the increase of PCDD/F levels. PCDD to PCDF ratios in most of the sampling points were >1, suggesting that de novo synthesis is not the dominant formation pathway in the studied incinerator. This study verified that co-incinerating sewage sludge in the MSWI would not elevate the emission levels of PCDD/Fs. If all of the yielded municipal waste is incinerated with adding 5% sewage sludge, more than half of sewage sludge can be disposed safely in Shenzhen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal

User-Defined Keywords

  • Dioxin
  • Municipal solid waste incinerator
  • Particle/gas-phase partition
  • SCR
  • Sewage sludge


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