Past studies indicated particulates generated by waste incineration contain various hazardous compounds. The aerosol characteristics are very important for particulate hazard control and workers' protection. This study explores the detailed characteristics of emitted particulates from each important operation unit in a rotary kiln-based hazardous industrial waste incineration plant. A dust size analyzer (Grimm 1.109) and a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) were used to measure the aerosol mass concentration, mass size distribution, and number size distribution at five operation units (S1-S5) during periods of normal operation, furnace shutdown, and annual maintenance. The place with the highest measured PM10 concentration was located at the area of fly ash discharge from air pollution control equipment (S5) during the period of normal operation. Fine particles (PM2.5) constituted the majority of the emitted particles from the incineration plant. The mass size distributions (elucidated) made it clear that the size of aerosols caused by the increased particulate mass, resulting from work activities, were mostly greater than 1.5 mu m. Whereas the number size distributions showed that the major diameters of particulates that caused the increase of particulate number concentrations, from work activities, were distributed in the sub micrometer range. The process of discharging fly ash from air pollution control equipment can significantly increase the emission of nanoparticles. The mass concentrations and size distributions of emitted particulates were different at each operation unit. This information is valuable for managers to take appropriate strategy to reduce the particulate emission and associated worker exposure.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, v.13 n.5, pp.329-342