Chun-Jou Guo1, Mao-Sung Wang2, Sheng-Lun Lin 2,3, Hsiao-Hsuan Mi 4, Lin-Chi Wang5, Guo-Ping Chang-Chien3,6

  • 1 Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City 70101, Taiwan
  • 2 Center for General Education, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung City 83347, Taiwan
  • 3 Super Micro Mass Research and Technology Center, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung City 83347, Taiwan
  • 4 Department of Environmental Engineering & Science, Chia-Nan University of Pharmacy & Science, Tainan City 71743, Taiwan
  • 5 Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Informatics, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung City 83347, Taiwan
  • 6 Department of Cosmetic and Fashion Styling, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung City 83347, Taiwan

Received: June 18, 2014
Revised: July 28, 2014
Accepted: July 28, 2014
Download Citation: ||  

Cite this article:
Guo, C.J., Wang, M.S., Lin, S.L., Mi, H.H., Wang, L.C. and Chang-Chien, G.P. (2014). Emissions of PCDD/Fs and PCBs during the Cold Start-up of Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 14: 1593-1604.


  • The peak levels of PCDD/F and PCB occurred at 295–359°C during the cold start-up.
  • Both PCDD/F and PCB levels were remained high after 45 hours from the start-up.
  • The annual PCDD/F + PCB emission will sharply increase if the start-up was included.
  • Reducing the times of start-up is more important than the average PCDD/F levels.



This study investigated the emissions of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from 45-hr cold start-up operations (from the ambient temperature) of two municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs). Fifteen samples were collected during the whole process, while the sampling period was divided as follows: (1) the initial stage (25–250°C); (2) the second stage (250–850°C), and the final stage (850–1000°C). The peak of total (PCDD/F + PCB) (WHO2005-TEQ) concentration occurred during the second stage of the cold start-up. This could because the temperature in the combustion chamber reached 295–359°C, within the temperature window (250–450°C) of PCDD/F reformation by de novo synthesis. However, both PCDD/F and PCB (WHO2005-TEQ) concentrations were still 2.8–3.8 times higher than the regulated standards in Taiwan 45 hours after the cold start-up began, demonstrating significant memory effects. Higher PCB/(PCDD/F + PCB) TEQ fractions were observed during the initial stage of cold start-up. This is probably due to the higher volatilities of memorized PCB-126 and -169 than PCDD/F congeners, thus making them more easily released into the flue gas. On the other hand, the total (PCDD/F + PCB) emissions during 45-hr cold start-up were estimated at 46–68 mg WHO2005-TEQ.The annual (PCDD/F + PCB) emissions from normal conditions are generally estimated by the normal operating emissions factor without the cold start-up. The normal annual (PCDD/F + PCB) emission rates of the two MSWIs were 70.7–101 mg WHO2005-TEQ, including once cold start-up emission, and these increased to 142–480 mg WHO2005-TEQ, up by 65–458%, if one to eight times of cold start-up were included. Therefore, reducing unnecessary start-ups could be more important with regard to controlling the PCDD/F and PCB emissions than only attempting to increase the pollutant removal efficiency in the steady operations of MSWIs.

Keywords: Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins; Polychlorinated dibenzofurans; Polychlorinated biphenyls; Municipal solid waste incinerators; Cold start-up

Don't forget to share this article 


Subscribe to our Newsletter 

Aerosol and Air Quality Research has published over 2,000 peer-reviewed articles. Enter your email address to receive latest updates and research articles to your inbox every second week.

Latest coronavirus research from Aerosol and Air Quality Research

2018 Impact Factor: 2.735

5-Year Impact Factor: 2.827

Aerosol and Air Quality Research (AAQR) is an independently-run non-profit journal, promotes submissions of high-quality research, and strives to be one of the leading aerosol and air quality open-access journals in the world.