The dioxin issue has created a world-wide societal debate hitherto unprecedented for a class of chemicals and resulting even in chemophobia with negative impact on the image of industry as a whole. On the other hand, huge research efforts have been made and still go on in chemistry, human toxicology, and technology. As a result quite a lot on sources, environmental fate, and means to prevent further dioxin emissions are known. Great progress has especially been made in understanding waste incineration as a major dioxin-producing activity and advanced end-of-pipe technologies are available for those who can afford it.
Yet, large discrepancies exist between known
sources and total emissions apparent from deposition or environmental burdens. Natural sources are too small to be significant. Human activities must be responsible: in particular, thermal industrial processes with elements and conditions conducive to dioxin formation. Supported by scattered measurements, primary candidates are int. al. : metallurgy (iron ore sintering; secondary smelting of steel, copper, aluminium, ...) and cement production.
This comprehensive project will study these sources with new techniques and a novel methodology, model dioxin generation, destruction and removal, maximize prevention, minimize emissions. The project team combines skills at the highest level on dioxin analysis, in-line continuous monitoring (by the novel, emerging Jet-REMPI technique), kinetic/mechanistic investigation and modelling (labscale; pilot-plant scale, industrial scale) and abatement by carbon adsorption.
Answers will be provided to the key questions on:
* Emission levels of primary and dioxin patterns from at least three different process plants.
Improvement of sampling and analytical methods if/when necessary, with validation, and direct on-line monitoring.
* Pathways and levels of dioxin formation and destruction in (representative stages of) the process: via precursors, from carbonaceous material, on particulate matter, or else. The results from labscale results will be verified at pilot level and tested at plant scale, with feedback. * Correlations between process conditions/materials, mechanisms, and dioxin output characteristics; parameterization, statistical evaluation. * Approaches to suppress/minimize dioxin outputs with minimal change in the process; focus on (cost-effective) measures in the primary reactors.
MINIDIP offers for the first time an integrated and comprehensive approach to diminish or solve major dioxin problems in various large-scale industrial processes. The final task of the team is to formulate practical guidelines for preventive measures and organise internation seminars to disseminate the experience gathered in MINIDIP.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
50226 Frechen - Benzelrath
2333 RA Leiden
901 87 Umeå