Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) pollution in E-waste recycling areas has garnered great concern by scientists, the government and the public. In the current study, two typical kinds of E-wastes (printed wiring boards and plastic casings of household or office appliances) were selected to investigate the emission behaviors of individual PBDEs during the pyrolysis process. Emission factors (EFs), compositional profile, particle size distribution and gas-particle partitioning of PBDEs were explored. The mean EF values of the total PBDEs were determined at 8.1 ± 4.6 μg/g and 10.4 ± 11.3 μg/g for printed wiring boards and plastic casings, respectively. Significantly positive correlations were observed between EFs and original addition contents of PBDEs. BDE209 was the most abundant in the E-waste materials, while lowly brominated and highly brominated components (excluding BDE209) were predominant in the exhaust fumes. The distribution of total PBDEs on different particle sizes was characterized by a concentration of finer particles with an aerodynamic diameter between 0.4 μm and 2.1 μm and followed by less than 0.4 μm. Similarly, the distribution of individual species was dominated by finer particles. Most of the freshly emitted PBDEs (via pyrolysis) were liable to exist in the particulate phase with respect to the gaseous phase, particularly for finer particles. In addition, a linear relationship between the partitioning coefficient (KP) and the subcooled liquid vapor pressure (PL0) of the different components indicated non-equilibrium gas-particle partitioning during the pyrolysis process and suggested that absorption by particulate organic carbon, rather than surface adsorption, governed gas-particle partitioning.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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