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WASTE INCINERATION & PUBLIC HEALTH
Hazardous-waste incinerators in the United States have traditionally used wet air-pollution control systems. Recently, however, there has been a trend toward fabric-filter systems (particularly in larger incineration facilities) because of their superior fine-particle-emission and metal-emission control efficiencies and their ability to produce a dry residue rather than a scrubber wastewater stream. Wet ESP devices may be favored in the future for existing wet APCDs to meet emission-control regulations.
Cement kilns and coal-fired boilers that burn waste as fuel have traditionally used either fabric filters or dry electrostatic precipitators as active control techniques. Passive controls include the neutralization of acid gases by cement materials and the recycling of cement kiln dust back into the process.
Fine-particle control devices fall into three general categories, which are filtration collectors, including fabric filters (baghouses); electrostatic collectors, including dry and wet electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) and ionizing wet scrubbers; and wet inertial-impaction collectors, including venturi scrubbers and advanced designs that use flux-force condensation-enhancement techniques. When properly designed and operated, all of them are capable of effective fine-particle control, but they are not all equally effective.
Fabric filters are used at relatively low flue-gas temperatures (about 280-400°F). Flue gas containing particles passes through suspended filter bags. The particles suspended in the gas streams are collected on the filters and periodically removed and fed to a collection hopper.
Fabric filters are widely used today in municipal solid-waste incineration facilities, cement kilns, and lightweight-aggregate kilns because of their highly efficient collection of fine particles. They are used in a smaller number of hazardous-waste incinerators and medical-waste applications. The performance of fabric filters is relatively insensitive to particle loading, or to the size distribution and physical and chemical characteristics of the particles. They are limited to an operating temperature range between the gas dew point on the lower end and the bag-material thermal-stability limit on the upper end. A typical and practical operating-temperature for this technology in municipal solid-waste applications is about 300°F, but the best environmental performance is achieved at lower temperatures (to minimize dioxin and furan production within the APCD itself).
The primary factors affecting the performance of fabric filters are fabric type and weave, air-to-cloth ratio (gas flow rate to total bag surface area), cleaning method and frequency, bag cake formation and maintenance, and bag integrity with respect to mechanical, thermal, and chemical breakdown. The fabric type must be matched to the temperature range of the application and the chemical composition of the gas for good performance and bag longevity. Maximal