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Dioxins and Burning Landfill Gas
Following are a few papers that address the issue of dioxin
generation during the burning of landfill gas. The vagaries in style
of presentation of the following papers can be attributed to a span
of several years and several assistants. Any verbiage that follows
a particular citation is a verbatim quote from that citation.
Lahl, U., Wilken, M., Zeschmar-Lahl, and Jager, J. 1991. PCDD/PCDF
balance of different municipal waste management methods. Chemosphere
23 ( 8-10): 1481-1489 .
For emission reduction, disposal gas [landfill gas] is often
treated or used in thermal processes. ... Due to our analyses,
exhaust gas after combustion of disposal gas can contain
considerable amounts of PCDD/PCDF. We found 75-217 pg (TE)/m3,
other authors report values up to nearly 1 ng ( TE)/m3 (10).
Fiedler, H. 1993. Formation and Sources of PCDD/PCDF. Organohalogen
Compounds 11: 221-228
Despite the high chlorine content in landfill gases burning of
these gases in muffle furnaces or internal combustion engines
results in relatively low dioxin emissions in the range of 0.1 ng
TEQ/m3 or lower ( HLfU 1991).
Allen, Matthew R., Alan Braithwaite, Chris C. Hills. 1997.Trace
Organic Compounds in Landfill Gas at Seven U.K. Waste Disposal
Sites. Environ. Sci. Technol. 31::1054-61.
Jones, K. Comparing air emissions from landfills and WTI plants.
Solid Waste Technologies. March/April 1994
Unlike the scant health and environmental data available from
recycling facilities, there is a modest and growing data base on
landfill air emissions. Recent state and federal regulatory
activities plus the development of dozens of landfill gas-to-e rgy
projects, have helped to build an emissions profile. For instance,
to develop the background for the New Source Performance Standards
proposed in May 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency compiled
emissions data for 22 landfills . [2,3,4] EPA's data from 13 of
these facilities includes emissions associated with using gas
control systems, such as flares internal combustion engines (ICEs),
and gas turbines. A testing program of the California Air Resources
Board (CARB) also helped to extend considerably information on
landfill gas composition. 
To quantify dioxins emissions from landfill gas control devices
for this investigation, I used measurements reported from flares and
ICEs in Germany.  The German data was used since quantitative
dioxin emissions data from controlled landfills in the U.S. is
2. "Air Emissions from Municipal Solid Waste
Landfills; Background Information for Proposed Standards and
Guidelines," EPA Report #450/3-90, March 1991
3. "Emission Factor
Documentation for AP-42, Sections 2.7 and 4.2, Municipal Solid Waste
Landfills," U.S. EPA, September, 1992
4. Federal Register, Vol. 56, No. 104 and Vol. 58, No. 117.
5. "Air Pollution Control at Resource Recovery Facilities, 1991
Update," California Environmental Protection Agency, December,
PCDD/PCDF releases from various waste management strategies
[undated, draft for publication]-
GH Eduljee, ERM P Dyke, ETSU, AEA Technology PW Cains, Technical
Products Division, AEA Technology
In reality, the presence of PCDD/Fs in collected, untreated bulk
refuse and in the various waste fractions will result in their
transfer to downstream recycling and resource recovery options.
PCDD/Fs have been measured in compost, landfill gas and leachate, and
in gases and residues from metals recycling operations.
The maximum quantity of landfill gas generated is 120-240m3 per
tonne of MSW. Fifty percent of the landfill gas leaves the landfill
site as an uncontrolled fugitive emission. Fifty percent of the
landfill gas is collected for energy recovery in a gas engine. The
generation of flue gas is 10 m3/m3 of raw gas (flue gas at 11%
oxygen). Emission factors are 0. 32-0.36 ng I-TEQ/m3 of fugitive gas,
and 0.1-1 ng I-TEQ/m3 of flue gas.
P Dyke, ETSU, AEA Technology, B154, Harwell, Oxon OX11 0RA, UK Fax:
(Intl +44) (0)1235 433 981
P.O. Box 548, or 512 CR 2663
Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632 USA