Metal partitioning in products of incineration of municipal solid waste

Sukrut S. Thipse, Edward L. Dreizin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Metals contained in the waste transfer to the waste incineration products, including flue gas, fly ash, and bottom ash, as different oxide, nitride, carbides, and other phases. Most of the metal-based phases formed in incineration are toxic and their emissions need to be strictly controlled. Therefore, behavior of metal species during incineration must be well understood. Such understanding is possible based on the experimental identification of the metal phases formed in the waste combustion and determination of their concentration in various incineration products. To avoid well-known experimental difficulties of the industrial waste incinerators associated with the poor fuel/conditions reproducibility and limited instrumentation, a 140,000 Btu/h pilot-scale, laboratory burner was constructed, characterized and operated at NJIT. A synthetic fuel representative of the municipal solid waste in the US was formulated and produced in 600-Lb batches. The solid fuel contained Fe and SiO2 as main constituents, and was doped with trace amounts of Al, Ni, Cr, Hg and PbO. Several experiments have been conducted on combustion of the synthetic fuel in the pilot-scale incinerator with varying fuel-air equivalence ratio. Both gaseous and condensed combustion products were sampled and analyzed. Atomic absorption spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction were used to analyze total metal contents and metal containing phases in the incineration products. Thermodynamic equilibrium computations were performed to obtain the adiabatic flame temperature and identify the phases of the metal-containing products formed at the equilibrium conditions. The results of the equilibrium computations performed at the varied fuel/air ratios were compared with the observed experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-849
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Atomic absorption spectroscopy
  • Metal partitioning
  • Municipal solid waste
  • X-ray diffraction


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