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  • Techno-economic study on the reduction of industrial emissions to air, discharges to water and the generation of wastes from the production, processing and destruction (by incineration) of brominated flame retardants


Three varieties of brominated flame retardants (BFR), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated biphenyl oxides (PBBO) and tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBA), being either of concern or of greater usage, have been studied for the reduction of industrial emissions to air, discharges to water, and the generation of wastes from the production, processing and incineration. Production of the BFRs is by batch bromination of the organic raw material. The majority of BFRs are solids, and so they are handled in solvents prior to drying, size reduction and packing. BFRs have a very low volatility. The equipment installed for emission control such as condensers, absorbers and activated carbon adsorption limits discharges of BFRs to air to very low levels. Losses in aqueous discharges are low based on indicative estimates as measurements do not exist. Liquid effluent treatment plants, particularly those with interception, flocculation and carbon adsorption steps ensure that the final discharges are low. The handling of powdered BFRs is the most likely activity to result in significant releases of the BFRs. The use of equipment similar to that in the production plant should result in adequate control of BFR releases to air and to water. BFRs can be decomposed to brominated dioxins and furans by the high temperatures in extrusion, but levels are considered acceptable. Releases from incineration could not be quantified due to the lack of actual measurements when BFRs were present in the feed. If significant amounts of BFRs enter the waste streams for incineration current improvements to technical standards for waste incineration should ensure that the potential for the formation of brominated dioxins and furans will be minimised. The study concluded that releases of BFRs from production processes are minimal and those from the plastics processing industry can be adequately controlled, whereas the transportation and storage of BFRs for use have the potential for greater releases, f

Additional information

Authors: CEC, CEC Bruxelles (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Report: EN (1996) 140pp., ECU 22
Availability: Available from the (2)
ISBN: ISBN 92-827-5577-0
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