Airborne emissions of mercury from municipal solid waste. II: Potential losses of airborne mercury before landfill
Abbreviated Journal Title
J. Air Waste Manage. Assoc.
Engineering, Environmental; Environmental Sciences; Meteorology &; Atmospheric Sciences
Waste distribution and compaction at the working face of municipal waste landfills releases mercury vapor (Hg-o) to the atmosphere, as does the flaring of landfill gas. Waste storage and processing before its addition to the landfill also has the potential to release He to the air if it is initially present or formed by chemical reduction of H-II to He within collected waste. We measured the release of Hg vapor to the atmosphere during dumpster and transfer station activities and waste storage before landfilling at a municipal landfill operation in central Florida. We also quantified the potential contribution of specific Hg-bearing wastes, including mercury (Hg) thermometers and fluorescent bulbs, and searched for primary Hg sources in sorted wastes at three different landfills. Surprisingly large fluxes were estimated for Hg losses at transfer facilities (similar to 100 mg/hr) and from dumpsters in the field (similar to 30 mg/hr for 1,000 dumpsters), suggesting that Hg emissions occurring before landfilling may constitute a significant fraction of the total emission from the disposal/landfill cycle and a need for more measurements on these sources. Reducing conditions of landfill burial were obviously not needed to generate strong He signals, indicating that much of the Hg was already present in a metallic (He) form. Attempts to identify specific Hg sources in excavated and sorted waste indicated few readily identifiable sources; because of effective mixing and diffusion of He, the entire waste mass acts as a source. Broken fluorescent bulbs and thermometers in dumpsters emitted Hg-o at 10 to > 100 mu g/hr and continued to act as near constant sources for several days.
Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association
"Airborne emissions of mercury from municipal solid waste. II: Potential losses of airborne mercury before landfill" (2005). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 5691.