Assessment of the emission factors for potentially toxic elements from coal-fired boilers and sintering furnaces in a steel production plant

Justus Kavita Mutuku, Yen Yi Lee, Bo Wun Huang, Wei Hsin Chen, Wen Che Hou

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The emission factor (EF), the weight of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) per unit energy or weight of sinter produced were evaluated for coal-fired boilers and sintering furnaces integrated in a steel plant. From three coal-fired boilers, 15 samples were taken while 22 samples were taken from four sintering furnaces. Investigations were performed on the EF of lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic and chromium (VI). The coefficient of variance for the first 3 samples from each PTE was used to decide whether 2 more samples were necessary for the investigation. Three samples were sufficient for Cr (VI), however, 5 samples were required for Pb, Cd, Hg, and As, since the variances in concentrations of the first three samples exceeded 20%. The ranges for the ratio of the laboratory-based EF to the default EF applied by the Environment Protection Administration (EPA Taiwan) for Pb, Cd, Hg, and As for the coal-fired boiler were 0.08–0.013, 0.014–0.017, 0.019–0.033, 0.047–0.066 and for the sintering furnaces were 0.059–0.232, 0.05–0.151, 0.05–0.364, and 0.067–0.824. The ratio for Cr (VI)- was constant at 0.005 for all the coal fired boilers while it ranged from 0.057–0.709 for the sintering furnaces. Whilst source identification, enrichment factors, and spatial distributions for PTEs are often studied, laboratory-based investigations on the EFs for PTEs from industrial plants are rarely performed. This study filled the information gap and compared the obtained EFs with the EPA default values. To avoid overcharging industrial plants equipped with the best available technology for emission control, the EPA should apply field investigations and laboratory-based EFs instead of the default EPA EFs to calculate air pollution fees. Insights from this investigation can be applied to promote the adoption of appropriate air pollution control devices to cut down the emission of PTEs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148329
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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