Characterizing the emissions of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PBDD/Fs) from metallurgical processes

Lin-Chi Wang, Ya-Fen Wang, Hsing-Cheng Hsi, Guo-Ping Chang-Chien
Environmental Science & Technology 2010 February 15, 44 (4): 1240-6
This study investigated the characteristics of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PBDD/Fs) in the stack flue gases of the metallurgical processes. An examination of the PBDEs existing in the stack flue gases of sinter plants revealed that PBDEs can form during the combustion processes through the similar formation conditions of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). The PBDD/F and PBDE emission rates of the metallurgical facilities were 0.446-3.19 microg TEQ/h and 4470-27000 microg/h, correspondingly. Both emission rates could reach several orders higher than those of the reported sources, revealing that the metallurgical facilities are not only important PCDD/F but also significant PBDD/F and PBDE emission sources to the environment. BDE-209 is the most abundant PBDE congener in the emissions of metallurgical facilities and is found to be dominant in the atmosphere and soils. However, few studies have considered metallurgical facilities as potential PBDE contributors to the environment. Because PBDEs could form or not be completely destroyed in the feeding materials in the combustion system, PBDE contributions from combustion emission sources to the atmosphere should not be ignored and need further investigation.

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