An investigation on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions from pulverized coal combustion systems

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Results from a series of tests conducted to study the emission of polynuclear or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from bench-scale and small industrial, water-tube boiler are discussed. A Middle Kittanning, and Upper Freeport seam coals were used in the study. Samples were extracted from the reactor outlet and from the inlet and outlet sides of the research boiler's (RB) baghouse using EPA promulgated methods. Only acenaphthene and fluoranthene were detected in down-fired combustor (DFC) samples. In addition to these two, naphthalene was detected in the RB samples. Emission factors ranged from 80 to 320 μg/kg of fuel fired. Although there were minor trends in the emissions' data, given the reproducibility limits for PAH compounds, no significant differences were found in the emissions with respect to the fuel type or form (pulverized coal (PC) vs. coal-water slurry fuel (CWSF), and raw vs. cleaned coal) and firing conditions (high and low excess air). The PAH emissions showed a decrease with increase in the firing rate. A bench-scale drop-tube reactor (DTR) was used to study the effects of temperature and residence time on PAH formation. The results revealed near constant PAH concentrations in the solid-phase samples, while the PAH concentrations in the vapor-phase samples increased as a function of temperature. At a temperature of around 1300°C, the rate of PAH formation was exceeded by the rate of PAH oxidation, and PAH concentrations in the vapor phase began to decrease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 29 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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