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Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE)


Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

  American Combustion Pyretron Destruction System Applications Analysis Report
June 1989

Incineration is widely used to clean up Superfund sites. Modifications which improve the efficiency with which waste can be incinerated are therefore of interest to EPA. Oxygen/air burners are of interest because their installation on conventional incinerators can allow for significant increases in waste feedrate and on-line time. It is for this reason that an oxygen/air burner was evaluated in the SITE program.

The Pyretron Thermal Destruction System is an innovative oxygen enhanced burner system which can be used in conjunction with a conventional incinerator to treat Superfund site wastes amenable to treatment via incineration. The major advantage to the Superfund program of using the Pyretron, or other oxygen/air burners, is that the waste feedrate of low BTU content solids and, under some circumstances, high BTU content solids can be significantly increased. The throughput rate was doubled in a test incinerator using the Pyretron to treat waste with a heating value of 24.1 MJ/kg (10,400 BTU/lb) during the demonstration. This was achieved only with the injection of water into the kiln to provide additional heat absorption capacity. While water injection was successful in this case, it may not be practical for wastes with heating values significantly above that used during the SITE demonstration. Its usefullness in treating low heating value wastes may make the Pyretron applicable to many wastes found at Superfund sites.

The Pyretron system may offer economic advantages over conventional incineration in treating low heating value wastes in situations where auxiliary fuel and operating labor costs are relatively high and delivered oxygen costs are relatively low. This is because, in these situations, throughput increases would offset the added costs of oxygen and capital equipment associated with the use of this technology. Economic advantages do not exist in reverse situations (relatively low fuel and operating labor costs/relatively high delivered oxygen costs). The economic advantage results from fuel savings and increased waste throughput capabilities, offset by process equipment and oxygen costs. Since the Pyretron is a burner system and therefore only part of an incineration system, regulatory requirements, environmental monitoring requirements, material handling requirements, and personnel issues applicable to a Pyretron system application are not measurably different than those applicable to the use of a conventional burner mounted on a transportable incinerator.


Laurel Staley

Risk Mangement Research | Air and Climate Change Research | Water Research | Ecosystems Restoration Research | Land Risk Management Research | Technology: Sustainable Technologies Research, Environmental Technology Verification Program (ETV), and Technology Assessments

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