Mingxiu Zhan1,2, Yufeng Ma1, Xiaoqing Lin 1, Zhiliang Chen1, Tong Chen1, Xiaodong Li1, Jianhua Yan1

State Key Laboratory for Clean Energy Utilization, Institute for Thermal Power Engineering, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang 310027, China
College of Metrology and Measurement Engineering, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou 310018, China

Received: June 3, 2019
Revised: August 20, 2019
Accepted: August 26, 2019
Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.06.0284 

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Cite this article:
Zhan, M., Ma, Y., Lin, X., Chen, Z., Chen, T., Li, X. and Yan, J. (2019). PCDD/F Emission from Pharmaceutical Industries. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 2070-2082. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.06.0284


  • PCDD/F emission in Pharmaceutical Industries (PIs) were investigated.
  • OCDD was identified to be the dominant congener.
  • 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF were effective TEQ indicators.
  • The TEQ estimated annual emission of PCDD/Fs is 19.96 g year–1.


The emission levels and profiles of unintentionally formed polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs) were comprehensively investigated in flue gases released from 16 regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTOs) belonging to 8 pharmaceutical industries (PIs) in China. The PCDD/F total concentrations and TEQ values with great variation, ranged from 0.148–9.051 ng m–3 and 0.008–0.255 ng I-TEQ m–3, respectively. Emission levels of most RTOs were lower than the emission standard of China (0.1 ng I-TEQ m–3), yet two were above 0.25 ng I-TEQ m–3. The PCDD/F concentrations in flue gases were in the order of HWIs > MSWIs > PIs. OCDD was identified to be the dominant congener in most RTOs, accounting for 21–71 wt%. In addition, 1,2,3,7,8-PeCDF, 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF and 1,2,3,4,7,8-HxCDF were effective TEQ indicators, especially for 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.995. The estimated annual emission amount (AE) of PCDD/Fs for PIs in this study was in the range of 0.435–11.016 mg I-TEQ year–1, with an average of 2.65 mg I-TEQ year–1. It was estimated that 19.96 g I-TEQ of PCDD/Fs were emitted from Chinese PIs to atmosphere in 2017. This is the first comprehensive investigation on the unintentional emissions of PCDD/Fs from PIs in China.

Keywords: Emission characteristics; PCDD/Fs; Annual emission (AE); Pharmaceutical industry (PI); Regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO).


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