INCINERATION TUTORIAL

Submitting questions about incineration

An excerpt from the program INCINER.BAS on the disk to accompany BASIC ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, by H. R. Bungay

 Edited for the world wide web by George Pendleton and Anna Ruepp


This tutorial discusses incineration and the various types of incinerators available according to present-day technology. By: Jennifer Lynn Reidy December 16, 1988; Mark Owens May, 1990; James M. Waldron Dec., 1992
Incineration is an environmentally and technically superior method of waste disposal, offering: At the same time, it is highly controversial and expensive. In previous decades, landfills were primarily used for waste disposal, allowing nature to take its course, eventually reducing the end volume toxicity of the wastes. However, because of increasingly stringent environmental regulations concerning air quality, landfills, and groundwater contamination, along with the decreasing availability of land for the encapsulation of wastes, incineration has become the desired disposal method for municipalities and industries.

Yet, even incineration technology is constantly undergoing revisions in order to meet tougher environmental standards. These technological advances include those that increase efficiency, and those that use emissions control apparatus.

Incineration thermally decomposes matter through oxidation, thereby reducing and minimizing the wastes, and destroying their toxicity. It can be applied to industrial, municipal, and hazardous wastes, provided that they contain organic material since it is primarily organic substances that can undergo and sustain thermal degradation.

After incineration, wastes are converted to:

Depending on the composition of the initial waste, compounds containing: may be produced. These compounds, along with CO, are deleterious to the atmosphere, and highly regulated. Presently, the destruction efficiency for these hazardous wastes must be 99.9999 %. Thus, to meet regulations, incinerators need to be equipped with: to provide secondary treatment for environmentally unsafe compounds, so that they can be released to the atmosphere at suitable concentration levels. Various types of incinerators are currently manufactured. The choice of an incinerator depends on the wastes' combustibility and its characterization as liquid, sludge, solid, or gas. The wastes' combustibility characteristics, such as ignition temperature, flash point, and flammability limits determine the necessary operating temperature, O2 concentration, and residence time for greatest waste minimization. The proper incinerator types can then be identified based on the waste specifications.
  • Types of incinerators