The particulate polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) of various sizes produced from the waste incinerators might have different toxicities, deposition characteristics, and potential health effects in the respiratory system, and their total toxicity equivalent (TEQ) concentration has been strictly regulated in recent years. There is a knowledge gap on the effects of air pollution control devices on particle size distributions (PSDs) of PCDD/Fs and their TEQ deposition. A hazardous waste thermal treatment plant equipped with an advanced scrubber, a cyclone demister, and activated carbon adsorption coupled with a baghouse filtration was investigated in this study. An 8-stage impactor was used to collect the particle distribution of PM10 and bounded PCDD/Fs from the gas stream at four sampling points located before and after each control unit. A “TEQDE” index is defined for the toxicity deposition of PM10-PCDD/F in the respiratory system. The advanced scrubbers significantly reduced the PM10-PCDD/F levels, especially for those with sizes ≥0.6 and ≤ 0.4 μm. Additionally, the cyclone also showed a better performance than the general dry gas treatment but had an efficiency drop with 1.5–4 μm particles. The PM10-PCDD/F loads in the final adsorption-filtration unit were eased and effectively removed the PM10-PCDD/Fs to sizes ≤0.5 or≥1.5 μm. The total TEQDE was 0.00052 ng WHO-TEQ Nm−3 and had a peak level of 0.000157 ng WHO-TEQ Nm−3 at 1.2 μm. PSDs were more sensitive to the PSDs of PM mass at high PM levels but strongly correlated with the PSDs of “PM10-PCDD/Fs/PM10” at low PM10 loads. Consequently, the advanced control system could effectively remove the PM10-PCDD/Fs and might extend the adsorption-filtration lifetime. However, the PM10-PCDD/Fs ≤ 0.4 μm had a higher TEQ deposition rate and should be further considered in emissions and ambient air quality evaluations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)