skip to main content

Title: Nitrous oxide and methane emissions and nitrous oxide isotopic composition from waste incineration in Switzerland

Highlights: • N{sub 2}O emissions from waste incineration with SNCR NO{sub x} removal are 51.5 ± 10.6 g t{sup −1}. • This is significantly lower than the reported Swiss emission factor of 120 g t{sup −1} (FOEN, 2013). • N{sub 2}O contributes <0.3% and ≈2.5% of GHG emissions from SCR and SNCR plants. • Measured isotopic SP of 17.7‰ is likely characteristic for N{sub 2}O emissions from SNCR. • CH{sub 4} emitted by waste incineration is negligible, contributing <0.01% to total GHGs. - Abstract: Solid waste incineration accounts for a growing proportion of waste disposal in both developed and developing countries, therefore it is important to constrain emissions of greenhouse gases from these facilities. At five Swiss waste incineration facilities with grate firing, emission factors for N{sub 2}O and CH{sub 4} were determined based on measurements of representative flue gas samples, which were collected in Tedlar bags over a one year period (September 2010–August 2011) and analysed with FTIR spectroscopy. All five plants burn a mixture of household and industrial waste, and two of the plants employ NO{sub x} removal through selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) while three plants use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for NO{sub x} removal. N{sub 2}O emissionsmore » from incineration plants with NO{sub x} removal through selective catalytic reduction were 4.3 ± 4.0 g N{sub 2}O tonne{sup −1} waste (wet) (hereafter abbreviated as t{sup −1}) (0.4 ± 0.4 g N{sub 2}O GJ{sup −1}), ten times lower than from plants with selective non-catalytic reduction (51.5 ± 10.6 g N{sub 2}O t{sup −1}; 4.5 ± 0.9 g N{sub 2}O GJ{sup −1}). These emission factors, which are much lower than the value of 120 g N{sub 2}O t{sup −1} (10.4 g N{sub 2}O GJ{sup −1}) used in the 2013 Swiss national greenhouse gas emission inventory, have been implemented in the most recent Swiss emission inventory. In addition, the isotopic composition of N{sub 2}O emitted from the two plants with SNCR, which had considerable N{sub 2}O emissions, was measured using quantum cascade laser spectroscopy. The isotopic site preference of N{sub 2}O – the enrichment of {sup 14}N{sup 15}NO relative to {sup 15}N{sup 14}NO – was found to be 17.6 ± 0.8‰, with no significant difference between the two plants. Comparison to previous studies suggests SP of 17–19‰ may be characteristic for N{sub 2}O produced from SNCR. Methane emissions were found to be insignificant, with a maximum emission factor of 2.5 ± 5.6 g CH{sub 4} t{sup −1} (0.2 ± 0.5 g CH{sub 4} GJ{sup −1}), which is expected due to high incinerator temperatures and efficient combustion.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ; ;  [2] ; ;  [1]
  1. Empa, Laboratory for Air Pollution and Environmental Technology, Überlandstrasse 129, CH-8600 Dübendorf (Switzerland)
  2. FOEN, Federal Office for the Environment, Air Pollution Control and Chemicals, CH-3003 Berne (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22443605
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Waste Management; Journal Volume: 35; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; COMBUSTION; FLUE GAS; FOURIER TRANSFORM SPECTROMETERS; GREENHOUSE GASES; INDUSTRIAL WASTES; INFRARED SPECTROMETERS; ISOTOPE RATIO; LASER SPECTROSCOPY; METHANE; MUNICIPAL WASTES; NITROUS OXIDE; SELECTIVE CATALYTIC REDUCTION; SOLID WASTES; SWITZERLAND; WASTE DISPOSAL; WASTE INCINERATORS