WIT Press

PCDD/F emissions from virgin and treated wood combustion

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/EQ-V2-N1-17-27

Volume

Volume 2 (2017), Issue 1

Pages

10

Page Range

17 - 27

Author(s)

G. PASSAMANI, E.C. RADA, W. TIRLER, M. TAVA, V. TORRETTA & M. RAGAZZI

Abstract

Energy from biomass is becoming increasingly important as fossil fuel reserves diminish. The utilization of biomass is already prevalent in the domestic heating sector, but produces significant amounts of pollutants that are detrimental to human health. Dioxins, formed in any combustion process where carbon, oxygen and, chlorine are present, are a subject of major interest due to their carcinogenicity. Much research has been carried out to study emissions from hazardous and municipal waste incinerators. Dioxin emission from wood combustion plants are also of interest, especially those due to combustion of treated, varnished or PVC-coated wood, which can produce high polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/F) emissions. This study compares the PCDD/F emissions produced by burning treated wood and virgin wood to verify if the differences are significant. Six different wood samples were analysed (three of treated wood and three of virgin wood) and a two-step wood gasification boiler was used. The analysis has been conducted both on off gas and on ashes. The measured PCDD/F concentrations are to be considered particularly limited and the treated wood use does not cause a general worsening in the PCDD/F emission. Thus, the wood treatment – subject of study – is not dangerous for PCDD/F. Finally, the experimental results indicated that during the thermal treatment, the formation mechanism of PCDD/F is the de novo synthesis.

Keywords

air emissions, ash, biomass, combustion, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, treated wood.