TN CONA 2011

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Erica's Proposal

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1 Erica's Proposal on Thu May 19, 2011 1:51 pm


Improving the area of study of dioxin and furan formation

Environmental Protection Agency, industries

The environment is something that is and will always be intrinsically valuable. It has its hand in human health, lifestyles, corporations, and everything in between; yet not enough is being done to improve the condition of our Earth. As environmental issues begin to loom even more threateningly, scientists and officials are seeing that nearly all the easy fixes and effortless changes have already been made. This means there is a greater call for landmark solutions regarding environmental sustainability and a greater need to investigate the effects of various byproducts of certain industries and their credibility, and also to research alternatives. Before the needed changes can be implemented, information and data that currently does not exist must be collected and assessed.

The vague research that has been done on dioxin and furan formation has yielded results that are not promising, and are not completely accurate (seeing as the levels are difficult to measure and sufficient technology has not yet been engineered). What has been found assures that dioxin and furan formation can be controlled through good combustion practice, air pollution control, etc. No direct monitoring is currently in existence, and this has proved to be problematic. Exposure to dioxins and furans has been associated with a wide range of adverse health effects in laboratory animals and humans.

The intent of this proposal is for information and data regarding PCDD/PCDF production to be gathered, compiled, and assessed by a committee designed for this purpose, among what is outlined in this proposal. Manually sampling and laboratory analysis is currently being periodically implemented; three test runs yielding four to five complete samples can not, however, sufficiently appraise the amount of dioxin produced by the most prominent sources. Emerging technologies (REMPI) hold some promise for more direct, accurate measurement and this area of interest needs to be explored. Results should be compiled for comparison between factories and manufacturing centers, and a sub-par standard that is currently being met can be deduced and improved upon. Measures should be taken to encourage as much elimination as possible of the following: undestroyed PCDD/PCDF originating with waste or fuel, gas phase formation, and solid phase particle mechanisms, and other major pathways for dioxin and furan formation need to be defined. There are several failure modes and precursor mechanisms (for example: flame bypass, low temperature, poor mixing, particulate burnout, and quenches) that result in dioxin and furan formation. There are certain parameters such as CO emissions that would be taken into consideration during testing and observation and that can help serve as indicators that can be continuously and reliably monitored. The key importance of good combustion practice, particulate matter, and PM control device temperature should be noted.

The research outlined should lead to comprehensive screening and assessment of dioxin and furan levels, predictive models for PCDD/PCDF from practical combustion systems, and overall better standards regarding this hazardous byproduct.

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