Dioxin emissions from municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs) in France

Abstract : The objective of this study was to determine whether the fear of dioxin/furan emissions from waste-to-energy plants was justified by the 2007 status of emissions of French municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs). All emissions were examined, plant by plant, but this paper focuses on the incinerator emission that is most frequently mentioned in the French media, toxic dioxins and furans. The study showed that there are 85 large MSWI that generate electricity or heat, i.e., waste-to-energy (WTE) plants, and 39 smaller MSW incinerators. The results showed that all French MSWI are operated well below the EU and French standard of 0.1 ng TEQ Nm(-3) (toxic equivalent nanograms per standard cubic meter) and that their total dioxin/furan emissions decreased from 435 g TEQ in 1997 to only 1.2 g in 2008. All other industrial emissions of dioxins have also decreased and the major source is residential combustion of wood (320 g TEQ). It was extremely difficult to obtain MSWI emission data. This unwarranted lack of transparency has resulted in the public perception that MSWI plants are major contributors to dioxin emissions while in fact they have ceased to be so. (c) 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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Ange Nzihou, Nickolas J. Themelis, Mohammed Kemiha, Yohan Benhamou. Dioxin emissions from municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs) in France. Waste Management, Elsevier, 2012, 32 (12), p.2273-2277. ⟨10.1016/j.wasman.2012.06.016⟩. ⟨hal-01632399⟩

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