The Flin Flon, Manitoba copper smelter was Canada’s largest point source of mercury emissions until its closure in 2010 after ~80 years of operation. The objective of this study was to understand the variables controlling the local ground-level air mercury concentrations before and after this major point source reduction. Total gaseous mercury (TGM) in air, mercury in precipitation, and other ancillary meteorological and air quality parameters were measured pre and post-smelter closure, and mercury speciation measurements in air were collected post-closure. The results showed that TGM was significantly elevated during the time period when the smelter operated (4.1 ± 3.7 ng m-3), decreased only 20% during the year following its closure, and remained ~2-fold above background levels. Similar trends were observed for mercury concentrations in precipitation. Several lines of evidence indicated that while smelter stack emissions would occasionally mix down to the surface resulting in large spikes in TGM concentrations (up to 61 ng m-3), the largest contributor to elevated TGM concentrations before and after smelter closure was from surface-air fluxes from mercury-enriched soils and/or tailings. These findings highlight the ability of legacy mercury, deposited to local landscapes over decades from industrial activities, to significantly affect local air concentrations via emissions/re-emissions.
Abstract Objective. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of heat treatment on the cyclic fatigue resistance, thermal behavior and microstructural changes of K3 NiTi rotary instruments. Materials and methods. Twelve control (as-received) and 12 experimental (heat-treated) K3 NiTi rotary instruments were compared in this study. Those experimental K3 instruments were heated in a furnace for 30 min at 450°C and then quenched in water. The cyclic fatigue resistance was measured with a fatigue tester. The thermal characteristic and the microstructures of both instruments were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), respectively. Results. There was a significant increase in the cyclic fatigue resistance between the heat-treated instruments and the as-received instruments (T-test, p < 0.05). DSC showed that the as-received and heat-treated samples were different, with an increased Af (austenite-finish temperature) for the latter. TEM analysis revealed that both as-received and heat-treated instruments were composed mainly of an austenite phase. However, the heat-treated samples had an increased appearance of larger grains, twinning martensite, TiO2 surface layer and a Ni-rich inner layer. Conclusions. Heat treatment increased the cyclic fatigue resistance of NiTi files and changed the thermal behavior of the instruments without marked changes in the constituting phases of NiTi alloy.
The NEN 7375 test has been proposed for evaluating the long-term environmental impacts caused by the release of contaminants from monolithic building and waste materials. Over a period of 64days, at specific points in time, the leaching solution (demineralised water) is replenished. By applying the NEN 7375 test, leaching of contaminants that is based mainly on diffusion is followed. In the present work, the results from modified leaching protocols were evaluated against those obtained by NEN 7375 test. In modified protocols, synthetic sea, surface and MilliQ water were used for the leaching of selected elements and chromate, molybdate and vanadate from compact and ground building composites (98% mixture of fly ash (80%) and cement (20%), and 2% of electric arc furnace (EAF) dust) over 6months. The leaching solutions were not replenished, imitating both the diffusion and the dissolution of contaminants. The data revealed larger extent of leaching when the leaching solution was not replenished. More extensive was also leaching from ground composites, which simulated the disintegration of the material over time. The composition of the leaching solution influenced the release of the matrix constituents from the composites and, consequently, the amount of elements and their chemical species. Synthetic sea and surface water used as leaching solutions, without replenishing, were found to be suitable to simulate the conditions when the building material is immersed in stagnant environmental waters.
Approximately 1.5 billion tyres are produced each year which will eventually enter the waste stream representing a major potential waste and environmental problem. However, there is growing interest in pyrolysis as a technology to treat tyres to produce valuable oil, char and gas products. The most common reactors used are fixed-bed (batch), screw kiln, rotary kiln, vacuum and fluidised-bed. The key influence on the product yield, and gas and oil composition, is the type of reactor used which in turn determines the temperature and heating rate. Tyre pyrolysis oil is chemically very complex containing aliphatic, aromatic, hetero-atom and polar fractions. The fuel characteristics of the tyre oil shows that it is similar to a gas oil or light fuel oil and has been successfully combusted in test furnaces and engines. The main gases produced from the pyrolysis of waste tyres are H2, C1-C4 hydrocarbons, CO2, CO and H2S. Upgrading tyre pyrolysis products to high value products has concentrated on char upgrading to higher quality carbon black and to activated carbon. The use of catalysts to upgrade the oil to a aromatic-rich chemical feedstock or the production of hydrogen from waste tyres has also been reported. Examples of commercial and semi-commercial scale tyre pyrolysis systems show that small scale batch reactors and continuous rotary kiln reactors have been developed to commercial scale.
Large-scale roll-to-roll (R2R) fabrication of vertically oriented nano-structures via directed self-assembly of cylindrical block copolymer (c-BCP) thin films is reported. Vertical orientation of nearly 100% cylinders in sub-100 nm c-BCP films under optimized processing via a dynamic sharp temperature gradient field termed Cold Zone Annealing-Sharp or ‘CZA-S’ is achieved, with successful scale-up on a prototype custom-built 70 ft. × 1 ft. R2R platform with 9 consecutive CZA units moving at 25 µm/s. Static thermal annealing of identical films in a conventional vacuum oven fails to produce comparable results. As a potential for applications, we fabricate high-density silicon oxide nanodot arrays from the CZA-S annealed BCP thin film template.
This study investigated an industrial biosludge drying system using hot gases from a coal furnace, seeking to increase the solids content of the biosludge above 50% (w.b.), considered suitable for combustion in biomass boilers. Biosludge was collected from a paper mill activated sludge plant. Biosludge mixtures with eucalyptus chips and eucalyptus bark in two different proportions (15% and 25%), were placed into a drying chamber. Hot gases generated by the furnace, with a flowrate of 0.64 ± 0.02 m3.s-1 at 100 ± 20°C, were applied to the piles through a blowing system. The results demonstrated that the 75% biosludge / 25% eucalyptus bark mixture achieved the best drying ratio, increasing the total solids content from 31% to 72%, over a 5-hour drying period. Nevertheless, all other treatments involving the addition of a bulking agent achieved solids content above 50%, confirming the positive effect of adding dried material to the sludge. These results indicate a potential use of hot gases that are currently available and released into the atmosphere by paper mills.
Installing desulfurization systems and closing outdated facilities can effectively decrease pollutant emissions from iron ore sintering. Polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofuran (PBDD/F) emissions from different-sized sintering plants with different desulfurization systems were analyzed. The desulfurization systems' PBDD/F removal efficiencies were 53.6%-97.1%, and were higher for wet desulfurization systems than for semi-dry and dry systems. The removed PBDD/Fs were transferred to the desulfurization products. The removal efficiencies of PBDF homologs increased with the degree of bromination. A PBDD/F emission inventory for Chinese sintering plants was compiled. PBDD/F emissions in flue gases, desulfurization products, and discarded fly ash (previously ignored) from 2003 to 2015 were 1218, 400, and 245 g toxic equivalents, respectively. PBDD/F concentrations in flue gases and fly ash were higher for small plants (<90 m2), indicating the importance of phasing them out. Indeed, in China such phasing out decreased PBDD/F emissions in flue gases, desulfurization products, and discarded fly ash by 1021, 891, and 3253 g toxic equivalents, respectively, between 2003 and 2015. PBDD/F emissions in flue gases have been controlled in Chinese regions with the highest emissions, but PBDD/F emissions in desulfurization products and fly ash are increasing.
Grate-fired boilers are commonly used to burn biomass/wastes for heat and power production. In spite of the recent breakthrough in integration of advanced secondary air systems in grate boilers, grate-firing technology needs to be advanced for higher efficiency and lower emissions. In this paper, innovative staging of combustion air and recycled flue gas in a 13 MWth waste wood-fired grate boiler is comprehensively studied based on a numerical model that has been previously validated. In particular, the effects of the jet momentum, position and orientation of the combustion air and recycled flue gas streams on in-furnace mixing, combustion and pollutant emissions from the boiler are examined. It is found that the optimized air and recycled flue gas jets remarkably enhance mixing and heat transfer, result in a more uniform temperature and velocity distribution, extend the residence time of the combustibles in the hot zone and improve burnout in the boiler. Optimizing the air and recycled flue gas jet configuration can reduce carbon monoxide emission from the boiler by up to 86%, from the current 41.0 ppm to 5.7 ppm. The findings of this study can serve as useful guidelines for novel design and optimization of the combustion air supply and flue gas recycling for grate boilers of this type.
The present study combined air sampling with pulmonary function tests (PFTs) to determine both the extent of air pollution proximal to an electric arc furnace (EAF) and its impact on human health. The mass concentrations of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) in exposure areas were not significantly higher than the samples taken at a control area. However, the concentrations of five metal elements, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn in PM2.5were significantly higher in the exposure area than that of the control area. PFTs showed that the average forced vital capacity (FVC) of boys was decreased with decreasing distance from the EAF factory. With normalization of pulmonary function by age, height, and weight, we found that the FVC became more negative with a decrease in distance from the EAF. Lastly, regression analysis was performed to analyze the impact of the concentrations of the five metals in PM2.5on the performance of pulmonary function. The results showed that the metals can be ranked from the highest to the lowest in terms of impact on the FVC of boys as follows: Cr, Cd, Ni, Cu, and Zn. This finding is consistent with the ranking of metal toxicity reported in the literature for a rat lung epithelial cell line. The results of this study showed that only measuring PM2.5mass concentrations may not provide a full explanation of its toxicity and health effects. The chemical composition of the PM2.5can be an important factor that determined the health impact of PM2.5.
- Environmental science and pollution research international
- Published over 2 years ago
Due to its adverse impact on health, as well as its global distribution, long atmospheric lifetime and propensity for deposition in the aquatic environment and in living tissue, the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has classified mercury and its compounds as a severe air quality threat. Such widespread presence of mercury in the environment originates from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Global anthropogenic emission of mercury is evaluated at 2000 Mg year-1. According to the National Centre for Emissions Management (Pol. KOBiZE) report for 2014, Polish annual mercury emissions amount to approximately 10 Mg. Over 90% of mercury emissions in Poland originate from combustion of coal.The purpose of this paper was to understand mercury behaviour during sub-bituminous coal and lignite combustion for flue gas purification in terms of reduction of emissions by active methods. The average mercury content in Polish sub-bituminous coal and lignite was 103.7 and 443.5 μg kg-1. The concentration of mercury in flue gases emitted into the atmosphere was 5.3 μg m-3for sub-bituminous coal and 17.5 μg m-3for lignite. The study analysed six low-cost sorbents with the average achieved efficiency of mercury removal from 30.6 to 92.9% for sub-bituminous coal and 22.8 to 80.3% for lignite combustion. Also, the effect of coke dust grain size was examined for mercury sorptive properties. The fine fraction of coke dust (CD) adsorbed within 243-277 μg Hg kg-1, while the largest fraction at only 95 μg Hg kg-1. The CD fraction < 0.063 mm removed almost 92% of mercury during coal combustion, so the concentration of mercury in flue gas decreased from 5.3 to 0.4 μg Hg m-3. The same fraction of CD had removed 93% of mercury from lignite flue gas by reducing the concentration of mercury in the flow from 17.6 to 1.2 μg Hg m-3. The publication also presents the impact of photochemical oxidation of mercury on the effectiveness of Hg vapour removal during combustion of lignite. After physical oxidation of Hg in the flue gas, its effectiveness has increased twofold.