Air Pollution Control

Although incinerator design, operating practices, and fuel cleaning (waste reduction and separation systems) can significantly reduce the amount of pollutants produced in waste-to-energy plants, some pollutants are inevitably generated. Add-on emission control devices neutralize, condense, or collect these pollutants and prevent them from being emitted into the air. Most of these devices are placed at the back end of the incinerator, treating flue gases after they pass out of the boiler.

Different types of pollutants require different control devices: scrubbers and condensers for acid gases, scrubbers and condensers with electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) or fabric filters (baghouses) for particulates and other heavy metals and chemical neutralization systems for oxides of nitrogen (see Sections 5.18-22). Variations exist within these basic categories; while some devices are more likely than others to achieve high removal efficiencies, operational factors, such as temperature, play a key role.

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