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Estimating the contribution of different pollution sources for the elevated heavy metal concentrations in recovered waste wood
Linköping University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Technique and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Technique and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Technique and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

One crucial problem related to the task of decreasing environmental pollution and increasing resource efficiency is that many material flows are contaminated with hazardous substances. In this paper, the contamination of heavy metals in Swedish recovered waste wood is addressed. The main objective was to estimate the contribution of heavy metals from six selected pollution sources. It is shown that the occurrence of industrial preservative-treated wood, surface-treated wood, fastening systems, plastic waste, concrete, and soil explains most of the elevated concentrations of lead, chromium, zinc, copper, and arsenic. The sources for nickel, cadmium, and mercury arc more poorly understood, although several potential sources are identified. The included pollution sources differ in the extent of their integration to wood, which influences the possibility of removing them from the main waste flow. Two waste management approaches for obtaining less polluted recovered waste wood are discussed, and the possibilities and impediments for each strategy outlined.

Keyword [en]
Waste wood, building and demolition waste, heavy metal contamination, waste management
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102035OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-102035DiVA: diva2:667707
Available from: 2013-11-27 Created: 2013-11-27 Last updated: 2013-11-27
In thesis
1. Contamination in Swedich waste wood - environmental implications, sources and waste management strategies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contamination in Swedich waste wood - environmental implications, sources and waste management strategies
2004 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today, bulk materials, e.g. wood, plastic, steel, and concrete, are contaminated by hazardous substances such as heavy metals, causing environmental and resource problems during waste management. This thesis aims to contribute with knowledge about the relationships between small substance flows and large bulk material flows, thereby enabling the development of strategies that decrease such environmental problems during waste handling. For this purpose, Swedish recovered waste wood (R WW) and its contaminants were studied in detail. Due to their high toxicity, nondegradability, and frequent use in urban areas, the heavy metals zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), nickel (Ni), and mercury (Hg) were selected for study.

This thesis is mainly based on three studies. To start with, elemental fuel analyses of RWW were reviewed to accomplish a broad assessment of the elemental content in the waste and to define the general extent of contamination. Secondly, the sources for this contamination were tracked and identified by analysing the inflow of the studied substances via different products during the middle of the 20th century. Finally, different upstream strategies to handle R WW, here categorised as separation measures taken before the RWW enters the combustion plant, were compared and evaluated, determining how they would influence the environmental impact generated downstream in the current waste management system in Sweden.

It is concluded that current RWW has been substantially contaminated by all of the studied heavy metals during its lifetime in the technosphere. Furthermore, RWW of Swedish and European origin (Swedish combustion plants import RWW fuel from Europe) differ in their elemental composition. Swedish RWW contains more arsenic, zinc, chromium, copper, and nickel, whereas European waste displays higher concentrations of lead, cadmium, and mercury. For Swedish RWW, the main origin of this contamination is limited to a few sources, of which surface-treated and industrial preservative-treated wood constitute the most important ones. From a total metal flow perspective, it seems that the metal flows related to RWW are small compared to other metal flows in Sweden, except in the case of arsenic. Arsenic in RWW is of the same magnitude as other substantial flows in Sweden, such as a contaminant in coal.

Today, the management of RWW is mainly downstream-oriented, focusing on measures at combustion plants, such as dilution of contaminants and installing gas cleaning. In contrast to this downstream focus, the results from this thesis emphasise the importance of upstream separation strategies, which exhibit several environmental benefits compared to the current management. However, from a long-term perspective, all strategies suggested for improving the handling of RWW more or less shift pollution problems to the future. Hence, to accurately prevent environmental pollution, upstream strategies must be combined with measures taken further downstream in the current waste management system, permanently immobilising the hazardous substances. Again, upstream separation strategies are argued to be important since they decrease the volume problem, thereby enhancing implementation of such downstream immobilising strategies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2004. 42 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1068
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-29736 (URN)15135 (Local ID)91-7373-881-6 (ISBN)15135 (Archive number)15135 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2013-11-27

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Krook, JoakimEklund, Mats

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