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Ames M.,Cambridge Environmental Inc. | Zemba S.,Cambridge Environmental Inc. | Green L.,Cambridge Environmental Inc. | Botelho M.J.,Secil Companhia Geral de Cal e Cimento | And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2012

Cement kilns are known to emit polychlorinated dibenzo(p)dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs; "dioxins"), but estimates of the amounts and patterns of these emissions vary widely. These variations may stem from a combination of factors, including the design and operating conditions of the kiln, and the fuels and raw materials fed into the kiln. The goal of this study was to examine the patterns of dioxin emissions in a large set of stack-tests at two Portland cement kilns in Portugal that use a variety of fuels. A total of 152 stack-tests provided data on PCDD/F congener concentrations during which the kilns combusted a varied mix of fuels, including petroleum coke, coal, various "special" supplemental fuels, and refinery distillation ends, which are classified as hazardous wastes. The use of coal to fuel the kilns was found to generate significantly different emission-profiles relative to the use of petroleum coke, but the addition of hazardous wastes as a supplemental fuel did not significantly alter profiles. All of the kiln emission profiles were found to differ markedly from profiles in ambient air. However, the small absolute dioxin emission rates from the kilns suggested that kiln impacts would not be detectable via ambient air monitoring, even in rural settings. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Zemba S.,Cambridge Environmental Inc. | Ames M.,Cambridge Environmental Inc. | Green L.,Cambridge Environmental Inc. | Botelho M.J.,Secil Companhia Geral de Cal e Cimento | And 3 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2011

Emissions from Portland cement manufacturing facilities may increase health risks in nearby populations and are thus subject to stringent regulations. Direct testing of pollutant concentrations in exhaust gases provides the best basis for assessing the extent of these risks. However, these tests (i) are often conducted under stressed, rather than typical, operating conditions, (ii) may be limited in number and duration, and (iii) may be influenced by specific fuel-types and attributes of individual kilns. We report here on the results of more than 150 emissions-tests conducted of two kilns at a Portland cement manufacturing plant in Portugal. The tests measured various regulated metals and polychlorinated dibenzo(p)dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs). Stack-gas concentrations of pollutants were found to be highly variable, with standard deviations on the order of mean values. Emission rates of many pollutants were higher when coal was used as the main kiln fuel (instead of petroleum coke). Use of various supplemental fuels, however, had little effect on stack emissions, and few statistically significant differences were observed when hazardous waste was included in the fuel mix. Significant differences in emissions for some pollutants were observed between the two kilns despite their similar designs and uses of similar fuels. All measured values were found to be within applicable regulatory limits. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Augusto S.,University of Lisbon | Augusto S.,Rovira i Virgili University | Pinho P.,University of Lisbon | Santos A.,University of Lisbon | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2016

In an area with multiple sources of air pollution, it is difficult to evaluate the spatial impact of a minor source. Here, we describe the use of lichens to track minor sources of air pollution. The method was tested by transplanting lichens from a background area to the vicinity of a cement manufacturing plant that uses alternative fuel and is located in a Natural Park in an area surrounded by other important sources of pollution. After 7 months of exposure, the lichens were collected and analyzed for 17 PCDD/F congeners. The PCDD/F profiles of the exposed lichens were dominated by TCDF (50%) and OCDD (38%), which matched the profile of the emissions from the cement plant. The similarity in the profiles was greatest for lichens located northeast of the plant (i.e., in the direction of the prevailing winds during the study period), allowing us to evaluate the spatial impact of this source. The best match was found for sites located on the tops of mountains whose slopes faced the cement plant. Some of the sites with highest influence of the cement plant were the ones with the highest concentrations, whereas others were not. Thus, our newly developed lichen-based method provides a tool for tracking the spatial fate of industrially emitted PCDD/Fs regardless of their concentrations. The results showed that the method can be used to validate deposition models for PCDD/F industrial emissions in sites with several sources and characterized by complex orography. © 2016 American Chemical Society. Source

Augusto S.,University of Lisbon | Augusto S.,Rovira i Virgili University | Pinho P.,University of Lisbon | Santos A.,University of Lisbon | And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

Lichens are one of the most useful environmental biomonitors, due to their ability to clearly reflect atmospheric deposition of pollutants. Dioxin and furan (PCDD/F) emissions have been reported to be decreasing in North European countries as a consequence of European regulations. This reduction has been perceptible across several environmental matrices, but it hasn't yet been shown in lichens as typical biomonitors of atmospheric pollution. In this work we compared concentrations of PCDD/Fs in two lichen species collected in a Mediterranean area with mixed land-uses, encompassing urban, industrial and natural areas, in 2009 and 2011 with the ones obtained in the same species collected in the same region in 2000. We found that PCDD/F concentrations in both lichen species have decreased approximately 70% since 2000 whereas industrial emissions have only decreased 25% for the same period. This substantial greater reduction observed in lichens may be due to several causes; after excluding fires as a possible explanation, we point out that possible causes could not only be the overall decrease in industrial emissions but also other causes such as traffic reduction and/or increase efficiency in the use of fuels. Capsule:PCDD/F concentrations in lichens have decreased 70% over the last decade, whereas industrial emissions have only decreased 25%. © 2014. Source

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