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COMMERCIAL INCINERATOR DESIGN CRITERIA

ROBERT E. ZI N N
WALTER R. NIESSE N

Arthur D. Little, Inc.


Cambridge, Massachusetts

many industries, shopping centers, hotels, and the like to


attempt the disposal of their own solid wastes. In many
cases, the savings from less refuse storage area and less
frequent refuse collections, together with the elimination
of the unaesthetic and unhealthful accumulation of
waste are sufficient to justify installation and operation
of a private disposal system.
Such an installation must meet certain performance
requirements.
An incineration system must be able to handle a
wide variety of wastes, including the ability to consume
refuse of high moisture content (such as garbage or food
wastes) .
The incinerator must be able to consume a wide
variety of waste materials including plastics, wood, glass,
metal foils, wire, paper and cardboard.
With the increasing stringency of air pollution codes
regarding both the particulate content and odorous
nuisance characteristics of the flue gas, new incineration
devices must include adequate air pollution control
systems.
In order to justify an incinerator installation versus
the use of a scavenger for refuse disposal, the incineration
system should have relatively low cost (capital and opera
ting costs).
High combustion efficiency (good burnout of both
flue gas and residue) must be realized in an incineration
system.
The ash residue should be easy to handle. Removal
of ash should minimize dusting and contamination of the
area near the incinerator.

ABSTRACT

Upgrading the capabilities of commercial and indus


trial incinerators is necessary in view of projected trends
in packaging materials which herald increased amounts of
plastics, metal foils and glass in refuse. These materials
can cause much maintenance and even failure of incinera
tor grates, supporting structures and operating mechan
isms. Combustion air control with suitable agitation of
the residue to attain good burnout is shown to be a
necessary design parameter. Thus, future designs of in
cinerators must avoid the use of grate systems, yet must
provide adequate stoking of the burning mass to obtain
complete oxidation.
BACKGROUND A ND DESIG N CRITERIA

Solid waste disposal is a matter of increasing concern


to the individual, to industry and commerce, and to the
municipal, state and federal governments. This concern
arises from the following facts:
1) Total solid refuse quantity approximately doubles
evew twenty years.
2) Collection and disposal costs are rising.
3) Land available for disposal use is shrinking.
4) Air and stream pollution codes are becoming more
restnctive.
5) The nature of the refuse is changing in the direction
of increased disposal difficulty.
Increasing collection and disposal unit costs, com
pounded by increasing refuse generation rates, have led

337

Based on prior studies by AGA [1) and others, the


pilot burner design for combustion units must provide
for easy lighting, as well as a high degree of pilot stability.
In order to insure high-quality operation, a mini
mum of special "techniques" and close attention should
be required of the operator. Operators will work on a
part-time basis and should not be expected to have a high
degree of technical competence.
Maintenance must be minimized.
Rapid burning is required of an incineration system
in order to provide a high disposal capacity per squaTe
foot of floor area.
In order to provide for safety, operator comfort, and
to reduce oxidative corrosion, external surface tempera
tures should be minimal.

Smoke is generated from local quenching of combustion.


Odorous aerosols and gases arise from the distillation of
tars and other residues from the waste and from incom
plete combustion of pyrolized organic matter.
Smoke and odor can be controlled by maintaining the
flue-gas temperature in excess of 1500 F for sufficient
time and in admixture with the necessary amounts of
combustion air. From a fuel economy standpoint, these
temperatures should, as much as possible, be maintained
by excess air control. Near the end of the incineration
cycle, however, secondary firing of an afterburner device
is usually required for incinerators under 1000 pounds
per hour.
Unfavorable Burning Characteristics

The objectives of a general purpose incineration system


are to rapidly, efficiently, cleanly and economically re
duce the volume, weight and health hazard of any solid
waste charged to it. In order to realize these performance
objectives, however, refuse sorting, selective burning, refuse
blending or other special techniques are frequently neces
sary. To avoid such costly and awkward procedures, a
truly general purpose incineration system must provide an
effective combustion environment, independent of the
physical or chemical nature of the waste.
In the paragraphs above, the effect of excess moisture
has been discussed. There are, however, a number of
wastes of little or no water content, which are most dif
ficult to incinerate or which degrade incinerator perform
ance. Packaging is the most widespread source of such
materials.
Aside from industrial wastes particular to specific op
erations or product lines, the majority of the refuse
charged to an incinerator will be garbage, office and shop
waste and packaging waste. The disposal of high moisture
garbage is a problem but may be readily accomplished
with added heat. Office paper and shop waste, except for
its characteristically rapid combustion, is a similarly tract
able disposal problem. The disposal of packaging ma
terials, however, frequently presents a most difficult chal
lenge to conventional incineration systems.
Because of the impact of packaging material disposal
problems on incinerator design requirements, the incin
eration characteristics of important packaging materials
was reviewed. In addition, the U. S. annual usage of these
materials was projected through 1975 to permit anticipa
tion of changes in refuse composition.

IMPLICATIO NS OF THE DESIG N CRITERIA

The above items represent both a design basis and a


yardstick for comparison with the performance of existing
incineration designs. In order to more clearly define
these design criteria, the following paragraphs will attempt
to amplify those items listed above and where appropriate
to couch the criteria in quantitative terms.
SE NSITIVITY OF PERFORMA NCE TO FEED
Moisture Content

An incineration system suitable for the disposal of


type 2 and 3 wastes (Incinerator Institute of America
Standards) should include auxiliary firing of the primary
chamber. The combustion of type 1 waste is self-support
ing. The higher average moisture content of type 2 and 3
wastes, however, demands the firing of progressively
greater quantities of auxiliary fuel. In all cases, good
burnout (low residual combustible) may require auxiliary
fuel.
This arises from the heterogeneity of the feed or from
the relatively high heat losses characteristic of small in
cinerators. Some materials (paper and excelsior) will burn
rapidly and completely while others (fruit and moist
paper) require long times to dry, ignite and burn. Although
the average net heat release of a refuse mixture may in
dicate satisfactory combustion characteristics, the heat
value contributed by the rapid burning materials may be
lost to the stack and surroundings before the slow-burning,
high-moisture materials are ready to burn.
High moisture content refuse increases the need for an
afterburner device. The combustion of moist waste is slow
and accompanied by the evolution of smoke and odor.

Incinerator Characteristics

Class. Glass appears in refuse as formed bulk glass

containers and, to a lesser extent in fibrous form (tape


338

bulk, cans are not a major incineration problem. Fasten


ings, closures and wire cause problems in incineration
systems using grates, by blocking the flow of ash through
the grates, restricting air flow, and becoming entangled
in the grates thus inhibiting grate movement and cleaning.
Wax. Wax appears in refuse primarily as a coating on
paper. In this form, it usually does not offer an incinera
tion problem except for some smoke. If, however, the
wax melts, rum off, and passes through the grates, under
grate fires may ensue.. Such fires can warp the ash re
ceiving equipment or damage the grates.
Fiber and Paper. This class of waste materials forms
the bulk of refuse to be incinerated. Unless extremely
dry and in large quantity (too rapid heat release), they
do not represent a problem. The light, strong ash residues
of paper burning do, however, present a problem in air
pollution control (large, highly visible ash pieces are a
substantial contribution to the fly ash loading).
Plastics. Plastic materials present the most difficult
incineration problem. Most plastics fuse readily at in
cinerator temperatures. These melts burn slowly, fre
quently with much smoke, and may run through the
grates causing undergrate fires. Some materials (e.g.
polyvinyl chlorides, PVC) will extinguish unless exposed
to an external source of heat. The use of plastic materials
is so widespread that segregation from the other refuse
prior to charging an incinerator is economically unsound.

reinforcement, air conditioning filters, insulation, etc. ).


These materials may soften, at incinerator temperatures,
to a viscous, tacky semi-liquid. In this state, the glass
may adhere to refractory or may collect ash on its outer
surface and form agglomerates or clinkers. Rapid chilling
such as by water or air quenching may shatter such lumps.
Similarly, bulk glass forms which have not melted, will
be shattered if forced through rapid temperature changes.
Fibrous glass materials may fuse to a mat in unagitated
incinerator systems thus trapping other refuse materials
and locally closing off undergrate air flow.
Foils. Metal foils (chiefly aluminum) appear in refuse
in a variety of gauges, sizes and forms. As aluminum has
a low melting point (1 220 F) some foil materials may
form agglomerates or may melt and drip through the
grates. Frequently, however, the foils act to block areas
of the grate to air flow thus contributing to slowed and
uneven combustion.
Wood. Wood charged to an incinerator may be in a
variety of forms. As packing crate materials, the wood
is found in relatively dry, thin sections which burn rapid
ly. Tree trimmings and other heavy wood pieces present
problems in that their burning rate is slow. Frequently,
long times are required to assure burnout and auxiliary
firing is often required to burn out smoke.
Metal. Metals appear in refuse primarily as cans,
fastenings, closures and wire. Aside from their persistent

TABLE I
SUMMARY OF PACKAGING WASTE GROWTH TRENDS
ARTHUR D. LlTTLE,INC. ESTIMATES

1965 - 1975

Thousands of
Tons/Year

Percent
Increase

% of
1 965
Total

% of
1 9 75
Total

Change
1 9651 975
(%)

%
Change
of
Total

Category

1 965

1 975

Glass

8,060

1 1 ,840

32

1 8.01

1 9. 1 8

+1. 1 7

+ 6.5

Foils

113

1 85

64

0.25

0.30

+0.05

+20.0

Wood

5,872

4,057

-31

1 3. 1 2

6.56

-6.56

-50. 0

Metal

6,583

8,641

31

14. 7 1

14.00

-0. 7 1

- 4.8

318

450

42

0. 71

0.73

+0.02

+ 2.8

22,444

34,063

52

50. 15

55. 1 8

+5.03

+10.0

1,364

2,490

82

3.05

4.03

+0. 98

+32. 2

44,754

6 1,726

1 00.00

100.00

Wax
Fiber and Paper
Plastics
Total

(38% Growth)
339

Future Packaging Waste Trends

expect about a one-third increase in the frequency and/or


severity of plastic-caused incineration problems.
Foil-caused problems should increase about 20 percent.
From this analysis it is apparent that the unfavorable in
cineration characteristics of plastics and foils must play a
significant role in defining incinerator design.

From the above, a number of design features are sug


gested. However, prior to formulation of general design
parameters the markets for seven waste packaging ma
terial classes were projected through 1 975. By this means
we were better able to evaluate the relative importance
of the demands made by the different materials on in
cinerator design. The results of these projections are
presented in Appendix A and summarized in Table I.
Based on these projections, it is noted that the quan
tity of problem materials (plastics and foils) will grow at
a more rapid pace than the total refuse quantity. Plastics
will increase from 3.05 percent to 4.03 percent of the
total refuse. This, however, represents over 30 percent
increase in plastic's fraction of the total. Thus we can

AIR POLLUTION CONSIDERATIONS

In recent years, the degeneration of urban air quality


has become a matter of concern to all levels of govern
ment and to the public. The response to this concern by
legislative and regulatory bodies is gaining momentum.
Although much of this effort has been at the county and
city level, state and federal governments are setting air

100

ALLOWABLE PARTICULATE EMISSION RATE


VS
REFUSE CHARGED

EMISSION OF .....RTlCI.A..ATE MATTER fROM REfUSE ......


N
NQUP:IUR PRC::P::JiTAU=':AO
IN MF\.IS aRNlN8 EQUIPM[NT THE AMOUNT OF PARTICULATE ....TTER
.
WHICH MAY IE EMIT TED IN ANY 60 MtNUT! PERIOD SHALL MOT
EXCEED THE FOLLOWING'
20 POt.IC)$ OF RFUS CKARG(O PER
0 0 POtJC)S FOR [.leH
2
3
(4)

! 'I

0.01
0.12
. 4
0.1'

1:1 n
m 1!:8

(.) 21.0
. 1101 44.0
(II) 10.0

40
10
10
100
500
1,000
10,000
20,000
40,000
I0,00O

1,000
REFUSE CHARGED (LB.lHR.l

FIG. 1 MAXIMUM PARTICULATE EMISSION PERMITTED


BY THE CITY OF NEW YORK, JAN. 1967

340

"

"

..

HOUR
..

standards apply only to installations of the Federal


government and are not applicable if more stringent local
regulations exist. In addition to the federal restriction
on particulate weight, the majority of the particulate shall
have dimensions less than 60 microns.
These flue gas quality standards are examples of those
proposed or in force at the present. The direction of
future standards is clear: permitted particulate emission
will be significantly reduced (and closely policed). It is
thus necessary that new incinerator designs incorporate
flue gas cleaning systems which are more effective than
simple settling chambers. In small incinerators, cyclone
and wet scrubbing devices may be applicable; larger units
may require condensation scrubbers or electrostatic preclpltators.
In addition to the regulation of "steady-state" emission
levels, many governments restrict the maximum smoke
opacity as measured on the Ringelmann scale. To meet
these standards at excess air levels compatible with good

criteria and standards that specify the maximum pollution


from incinerators of the size class of interest here.
Particulate Emissions

An example of such regulations, the maximum particu


late emissions permitted in the City of New York
Uanuary 1967) is shown in Fig. 1. For incinerators with
burning capacities of 50 and 500 pounds per hour, the
respective maximum allowable emissions are 0.33 and
0.26 pounds of particulate per 1000 pounds of flue gas
corrected to 50 percent excess air. (Calculated from
Fig. 1, based on 6 lb air per lb of refuse.) The
corresponding proposed New York State code (March
1967) are 1.0 and 0.35 pounds per 1000 pounds at 50
percent excess air (Calculated from Fig. 2, based on
6 lb air per lb of refuse.) (Fig. 2). The Federal govern
ment standards, defined in Part 76 of Subchapter F of
title 42, Code of Federal Regulations, specifies 0.55 and
0.33 lb/1000 lb at 50 percent excess air. The Federal

=fF

100

1.0

0.1
III

10,000
1000
Retu_ Cbaqed (Ib/hr)

FIG. 2 NEW YORK STATE INCINERATOR GUIDE.


PARTICULA TE EMISSION RA TE VERSUS REFUSE
CHARGED
341

100,000

combustion practice, afterburner devices are almost


mandatory.

gen chloride and nitrogen oxide emissions have not been


a problem. The sulfur content of refuse is typically low
(e.g. about 0.07 percent in type 2 refuse). The conse
quent sulfur dioxide concentration in the dry flue gas
(corrected to 50 percent excess air) is thus usually less
than 200 ppm.
Hydrogen chloride (HCl) arises primarily from the
combustion of PVC. From the data in Appendix A, the
annual PVC package waste rate is expected to increase
from 66 to 200 thousand tons. This growth rate may
be greatly exceeded if PVC penetrates the high volume
soft drink and beer container market. Thus, the impor
tance of HCI as an atmospheric pollutant will increase.
Fortunately, HCI may be removed effectively by water
scrubbing.
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) result from reaction between
oxygen and nitrogen. At temperatures above 2,000 F the
yield of NOx increases as temperature is raised. Fortu
nately, incinerators are usually operated at lower tempera
tures. At the present, there are few air pollution codes
which specify acceptable NOx levels. Increasing atten
tion has been directed to these pollutants, however, as
an important contributor to smog formation.

Odors

In addition to excessive smoke emission, odorous op


eration is the characteristic most frequently ascribed to
incinerators. Odor is a symptom of improper design andl
or operation. Although not representing a clearly defined
health hazard and not within the scope of most air pollu
tion codes, the emission of odorous gases is a public nui
sance under most codes and severely degrades community
relations.
Odors are formed primarily as a result of incomplete
combustion. The solution is thus obvious: provide an
adequate combustion environment. From a design view
point this involves excess air control, provision for ade
quate gas residence time, maintenance of high tempera
ture using auxiliary firing if required, and development of
turbulence to adequately mix air with combustion gases.
Sulfur Oxides, Hydrogen Chloride and Nitrogen Oxides

In most incinerator applications, sulfur oxides, hydro-

--------r-------,--------r-------r----250
26.00

so \l'Jastel

------+----i '2
'
......, --sf$l \..b \I'J

- '-

__

c:
o

....
t-

- _ ..

500

KEY
I-Unit With Scrubber

it Without Scrubber

.g 21.00
-

e
CI)

LbW
-
500
--t---

c:

.-

(J
c:

.....

16.00

000
2000

"
- - -

8000

11.00
200

Lb

___

400

- --

--

--

600

800

Incinerator Capacity, Lb/Hr


FIG.

INCINERATOR OWNING AND OPERATING COSTS


342

1000
2000

- ---

Z9QO
-

1000

\
,

500

2000
8000
8000
1000

-- - -

Incinerator Economics

1) Below about 200 lbs/hr almost any incinerator


operation is uneconomical.
2) Economics favor larger incinerators operating fewer
hours i.e. operating costs outweigh capital costs.
3) Only with difficulty, can the marketing of incinera
tors be based on the economic benefits of waste disposal
alone without consideration of side benefits.
4) Large incinerators could be more costly and still be
economically justified if residue weight, maintenance
and manpower needs could be reduced, and unit life in
creased.
5) The impact of stringent air pollution codes on in
cinerator economics is quite significant particularly in
small units.

A privately owned and operated incineration system


may not, necessarily, represent a profitable alternative
to use of scavenger services. Frequently, other considera
tions, such as health hazard, insurance problems, con
venience, odor, scavenger reliability, aesthetics, security,
etc. are more important yet economically undefinable
benefits. It is of value, however, to review the economics
of incinerator operation in order to have a cost frame
work for design. To this end, a simple mathematical
model of net incinerator cost was prepared (Appendix B).
The results are shown in Fig. 3 where the net cost per
ton burned (dollars per ton) is plotted against capacity at
various waste generation rates. For reference, the dis
posal cost for incinerators with and without air pollution
control scrubbers is shown.
If one takes the teuus used in deriving the model above
and introduces the incinerator total installed cost ex
pressed as a function of capacity (including the scrubber),
the combination of purchased capacity and burning hours
resulting in the minimum net cost may be readily com
puted. Using the upper incinerator cost curves shown in
Appendix B, the resulting equations are

REDUCTI O N EFFI CIE NCY A ND A S H HA NDLING

The function of an incinerator is to reduce the weight


and volume of waste materials. The efficiency of this
process is thus an important measure of performance.
The residue after incineration should be free of putres
cible material and of minimum weight, percent combus
tible and volume.
Putrescible material can enter the residue 1) by drop
ping through grates without sufficient residence time in
the incineration environment, 2) if it contains sufficient
moisture that, in comparison to the rest of the charge, it
has not been burned when the residue is dumped, and
3) if it is shielded from the combustion environment by
slow or non-burning materials. The health and odor
problems associated with putrescibles in the ash suggest
that a grateless incinerator providing long residence
times and incorporating an agitation mechanism would
be advantageous.
The reduction of refuse weight, volume and percent
combustible is also important as it affects the economics
of incinerator operation. From Fig. 4 it can be seen that
manpower and residue removal charges make important
contributions to net incinerator cost. Good burnout
will minimize the frequency of residue removal, residue
storage requirements and the residue hauling charges.
A problem associated with frequent ash removal is the
great disturbance of incinerator operation when clean-out
doors are opened. The great inrush of cold air often has
the effects of quenching combustion arrd of sweeping
large amounts of ash into the flue gas stream. The result
ing discharge of smoke and particulate is unsightly and
may be in violation of air pollution codes.
Obtaining good burnout may be realized by keeping
the refuse in an effective combustion environment for

Y 1.72 Woo 76 lb/hr


=

WI (0.9 Y) hrs/day

W is the average daily refuse rate in pounds. Table II pre


sents computed values.
TABLE II
MINIMUM TOTAL NET COST INCINERATOR OPERATION

Waste Load
(W -lbs/day

Optimum
Incinerator Capacity
(Y -lbs/hr)

Optimum
Burning Time
(N - hrs/day)

100

57

1.96

250

113

2.45

500

193

2.90

1,000

326

3.40

2,000

535

4.15

5,000

1,120

5.00

In order to gain perspective as to the sources of op


erating costs, the individual terms were determined for
three of the minimum cost situations in Table II. These
costs, expressed as percentages of the total annual cost,
are shown in Fig. 4.
From this analysis, it can be seen that:
-

343

Ash may be found in four locations in incinerator


systems: On the grate (or hearth), beneath the grate, in
the secondary combustion chamber(s), and in the air
pollution control device. The nature and problems as
sociated with each of these ash sources are different.

sufficient time. This may be accomplished by agitation


in a grateless configuration. Frequently, the grate open
ings are the means by which partially burned refuse
escapes the primary chamber environmtnt. In othe
systems, the charging of fresh refuse smothers combus
tion in the bed below. Thus, agitation of the refuse bed,
by turning up the ashes and ex posing them to heat and
oxygen, will significantly improve combustion perform
ance.
Such design principles can reduce the frequency of
ash handling but cannot eliminate it. For operator com
fort, area cleanliness and to avoid presenting a nuisance,
ash handling methodology should be an important de
sign consideration.

Case I

Grate (Hearth) Residue

Grate residue consists primarily of noncombustibles


(metal cans, wire, foils, etc.) and slow-burning refuse such
as books, catalogues, wood, and high moisture materials.
In incinerators with movable grates, much of the small
ash adhering to these residues may be shaken down into
the ash pit.
Removal of grate residue is usually accomplished by
raking the ash back to the charging door and shoveling it

Depreciation

250 lb. waste/day

Refuse Hauling

includes scrubber

Labor and Overhead


Maintenance

Annual Cost $1107

Electricity

$ 30.78/Ton

Taxes
Water
Gas

Case II

Depreciation

1000 lb. waste/day

Refuse Hauling

includes scrubber

Labor and Overhead


Maintenance
Electricity

$16.75/Ton

Annual Cost $2430

Taxes
Water
Gas

Case III

Depreciation

2000 lb. waste/day

Refuse Hauling

includes scrubber

Labor and Overhead


Maintenance

Annual Cost $3973

Electricity

$13.70/Ton

Taxes
Water
Gas

12

16

20

24

28

32

Percentage of Total Cost

FIG. 4 DISTRIBUTION OF COSTS FOR SMALL INCINERATORS

344

out. Not infrequently, wires tangle in the grate. Also,

erator performance through shutdown of the burners. Al

melted plastic may form dense adhering deposits on or ad

though high degrees of pilot stability have been attained

jacent to the grates which must be broken with a hammer.

through the efforts of the AGA and others, strong or

In general, grate residue removal is awkward and time

fluttering drafts still extinguish pilot units, even those of

consuming. Often, it requires shut-down of the unit. It is

advanced design. The higher cost of electric spark igniters

preferable, therefore, to incorporate in the design means

may, therefore, be justified in designs where the pilot is

for reducing such problems, such as 1) eliminating grates,

exposed to such conditions.

2) the continuous flow of all ash through the system, and


3) the complete burnout of plastics.

MA NPOWE R REQUIREMENTS

Below the Grate Residue

The greatest economic burden carried by a privately

The residue falling through the grates consists prim

owned incinerator is the cost of labor. Consequently, it

arily of fine ash but may contain melted plastics or alumi

is of prime importance that the quantity and quality of

num, broken glass, small objects, etc. Access is usually

labor needs be minimized. The capital cost of automated

obtained through one or more clean-out doors. Some

control or materials handling equipment may, therefore,

small units provide an ash collecting container which

be justified. In small units, simplified controls, such as

slides under the grates. The residue is usually shoveled

timers on the auxiliary burners, are warranted.

from the unit into an ash container.

Ideally, the incinerator should be designed to operate

The ash removal process is time consuming and often

in a manner which is relatively insensitive to variations in

creates a dust nuisance. Although manual removal is war

loading, draft, nature of the refuse, etc. Under these

ranted in small incinerators, it may be that an automatic,

conditions, a minimum of operator attention will be re

enclosed system is economically justified in large, con

quired to maintain stable, efficient operation. It may,

tinuously operating systems.

therefore, be justifiable to include combustion controls,


with 02 or CO2 analyzers and/or thermocouples as the

Secondary Chamber Residue

Fly ash, carried in the flue gas stream is, in part, dropped

sensing elements on larger incinerators.

out at the lower velocities extant in the secondary cham


ber. The particles vary in size from sheets, inches wide,

MAI NTENA N CE REQUIREMENTS

to sub-micron dust. The comments referring to under


grate residues apply.

Maintenance plays an important part in incinerator


economics in addition to its effect on unit availability.
Maintenance is needed in three areas: refractory, burner

Air Pollution Control (APC) Device Residue

The fine particulate matter which does not settle out

and controls, and air pollution control devices.

in the secondary chamber is, in well-designed systems,


captured in the APC devices. For incinerators of the size

Refractory Maintenance

class of interest here, wet scrubbers are often used. As a

Refractory degradation occurs by five mechanisms:

result, the residue is a wet sludge. Removal of the sludge

fluxing, slagging, abrasion, spalling, and mechanical break

is time consuming, unpleasant and messy. Disposal of

age. To reduce slagging and abrasion losses, the refractory

the sludge is difficult.

should be carefully chosen to present the best resistance

A dry APC system is preferable. Such systems are

to slagging consistent with satisfactory abrasion resistance.

available (e.g. electrostatic precipitator, bag filter or cy

In most incinerator designs, there is no agitation and thus

clone collector), but they present economic, operating

slagging resistance is the most important criterion. Flux

and/or design problems which usually make them un

ing is reduced with externally cooled refractory.


Spalling resistance is another important refractory

attractive for small systems. If wet collectors are used,


it may be possible to recycle the sludge to the incinerator

property. In most applications, incinerators are not run

for drying and discharge with the rest of the ash.

continuously. Thus the refractory is exposed repeatedly


to thermal cycling stresses. Also, the opening of charging
and ash doors during operation chills the refractory

PILOT STABILlTY

surfaces. Inhibition of spalling losses is thus an aspect


of refractory selection, unit design and operation

pilot instability on any auxiliary burner systems is im


portant both as a nuisance factor and as it affects incin-

technique.

345

Mechanical breakage occurs during refuse charging and


as a result of clinker removal procedures. Refractory
damage during refuse charging is difficult to eliminate
completely. It may be moderated, however, by careful
consideration to charging chute design and by the exer
cise of reasonable care by the incinerator operator. Re
fractory breakage during clinker and slag removal is almost
inevitable. Thus the reduction of this maintenance cost is
dependent upon careful refractory selection, incinerator
design and operation to avoid the formation of adhering
clinker.

sign should provide for high and steady burning rates. In


most incinerators, the refuse is charged in a batch opera
tion such that the burning rate peaks and then declines
rapidly. This is followed by a long period when auxiliary
burners slowly reduce the remaining combustible to ash.
Such procedures degrade the unit's average refuse disposal
rating. Also, the rapid release of the majority of the com
bustion energy results in short-term overheating which is
inefficient, as auxiliary firing is necessary in the latter
stages.
In an ideal system, the charge should burn rapidly but
steadily. Also the hot combustion products from freshly
charged material should be used, if possible, to assure
burnout of the ash. Such a process is possible, in princi
ple, if the refuse may be moved through the system in a
plug flow manner. Charging of fresh refuse should
preferably be done continuously.

Burner and Control Systems Maintenance

The frequency and extent of burner and control sys


tems maintenance is directly related to their complexity
and thus to cost. This fact, coupled with the equipment
capital cost, is the balancing factor in the attempt to re
duce labor needs through automation. Thus equipment
design and selection should be made in consideration of
both the benefits of lowered labor needs and the debits
of increased maintenance and capital costs.

SUMMARY OF DESIGN REQUIREMENTS

In the paragraphs above, the economic, operating and


design features of privately owned incinerators have been
presented. The following specific design principles were
developed:
1) A burner appears necessary in the primary chamber
and in the secondary chamber.
2) Air control is necessary.
3) An efficient, integrated air pollution control device
is necessary.
4) Gratelessness is highly desirable if coupled with
agitation.
S) Agitation is highly desirable.
6) Continuous flow of refuse and ash is desirable.
In addition to the above, a large number of more
general objectives have been considered. Their impact on
the incinerator design is more subtle and/or concerns de
tails of design and materials selection.

Air Pollution Control (APC) Unit Maintenance

The maintenance associated with the APC unit arises


primarily from corrosion/erosion and residue accumula
tion. In dry systems (principally cyclone collectors)
erosion of surfaces scrubbed by the ash-bearing flue gases
may be rapid. Replaceable, high abrasion resistant cast
iron tubes are thus needed for this service. Another prob
lem is related to residue caking as a result of condensation
of moisture or the presence of tarry combustion products.
Good combustion, burning out the tars, and operation at
temperatures above the dew point in all parts of the APC
unit will minimize this problem. Periodic cleaning is also
helpful.
In wet collection equipment with water recycle, pump
erosion is often a problem as fly ash slurrys are very
abrasive. The soluble components of the fly ash act to
enhance corrosion and may, through precipitation, block
nozzle orifices downstream of protecting filter screens.
The solution to these problems requires attention to ma
terials of construction and the avoidance of small orifices
and constrictions in spray heads, pump outlets, etc.
Draining of the system during extended downtimes, after
flushing with fresh water, will also extend equipment
life.

SUMMARY

In this paper, an attempt has been made to define and


analyze the various functional operational and design
parameters that control the effectiveness of solid waste
disposal by incineration. Superior designs of incinerator
systems are anticipated as the result of the above discus
sion of the many separate and interrelated processing
functions which, taken as a whole, control the combus
tion environment of the system. The careful considera
tion of these system parameters by incinerator designers
can lead to the installation and operation of incinerators

BURNING RATE

In order to provide the greatest burning capacity in the


smallest space and at the lowest cost, the incinerator de346

for disposal of solid wastes without causing objectionable


air, water or land pollution.

cooperation of the American Gas Association and for


their permission to present the information in this paper.
REFE RE N CE S

A CK NOWLEDGMENT
[1] American Gas Association, USAS, Z21.6, Approval Re

The authors wish to acknowledge the support and

quirements for Domestic Gas-Fired Incinerators, 1966, p. 16.

347

APP E N D IX

A F O RECAST OFPACKAGING T RE ND S I N
T HE U NITED STATES 19651975

348

cases and have not been included in rigid plastics account


ing.
3) The slow projected growth rate for folding and set
up boxes is due to anticipated increasing displacement by
rigid plastics packaging.

A large fraction of the waste fed to incineration


systems is discarded packaging material. Although other
materials (garbage, newspapers, boxboard, etc.) are im
portant in defining the nature of refuse, packaging ma
terials are frequently the "troublemakers". In addition,
the quantity of packaging material waste is growing rapid
ly. Thus, a forceast of packaging trends (amounts and
types) is a useful tool to defme incineration systems de
sign criteria.
Packaging materials fall into seven broad categories.
The approximate amounts of these materials have been
forecast to the year 1 975. The figures below are estimates
based on Arthur D. Little experience, review of current
packaging literature and contacts with packaging vendors
and associations.

4) Similarly, the slow growth of special food board is


the result of expected plastics replacement, especially the
paperboard milk carton. The new all-plastic container is
likely to be returnable in some sizes.
5) The fiber can should yield to plastics by 1 97 5.
TABLE IIA
GLASS CONTAINERS
1M Tons)

1 9 50
Food
Medicinal and Health
Household, Industrial
Toiletries, Cosmetics
Beverage Returnable
Beverage Non-Returnable
Beer Returnable
Beer Non-Returnable
Liquor
Wine
Dairy

TABLE IA
PAPER AND PAPERBOARD
1M Tons)

1 96 5

1 970

1975

Corrugated

10, 546

1 5,400

1 9, 800

Solid Fiber

177

1 50

140

3,936

4, 1 00

4, 200

CORRUGATED, SOLID FIBER

Shipping Containers

CONSUMER PACKAGING

Folding and Set-up Boxboard

Total

Special Foodboard (milk, cups,


frozen food board)
Tube Stock and Fiber Cans

2,060

2, 500

2,900

550

6 20

690

shipping sacks, asphalt


treated)

4,588

5, 300

5,800

21,857

28,070

33,530

1 96 5

1975

3, 1 7 5
970
280
6 20
550
270
140
1,320
480
230
25
4,340

7,620

8,060

1 1 , 840

Note:
Major growth area should be in one-way bottles for soft
drinks. Further losses to plastic will occur in medicinal
and health, toiletries and cosmetics, household, and food,
wine and dairy.

Coarse Papers (bags, wrappings,

Total

1 964

Notes:
TABLE iliA

1) Some displacement of corrugated containerboard


is anticipated by a new plastic shrink film overwrapped
paperboard tray shipper system. Studies have shown that
at best this will amount to a displacement of 400-500 M
tons of containerboard. The plastic shrink mm potential
here would total approximately 1 00-1 50 MM lbs/yr polyolefins and PVC. In our board and film projections,
we have accounted for a displacement of 2 percent which
we currently believe to be realistic.
2) Solid fiber is increasingly vulnerable to injection
molded (HDPE) rigid plastic cases. These will be reusable

METAL CANS, TUBES AND AEROSOL CONTAINERS


1M Tons)

Steel Cans
Aluminum Cans
Aluminum Tubes
Total
349

1965

1 97 5

4, 900

5,800

1 40

1,700

11

13

5,051

7,513

TABLE IV A

tainers. There will be increased production of specialty


fUm laminates, and coated structures, i.e., nylon/
polyethylene/saran.

PLASTICS
1M Tons)

COATINGS AND ADHESIVES FOR PACKAGING MATERIALS


RIGID PLASTICS PACKAGING \Including Closures)

1965

1975

Polyethylene and Copolymers


(ethylene/vinyl acetate and
ethylene/ethyl acrylate)

162

263

PVC (can linings, cap linings)

12

13

PVC (paper and board)

Polyvinyl Chloride

PVC (glass bottle coatings)

Polypropylene

10

13

Polyvinyl Alcohol

1965

Polyvinyl Acetate

41

55

Styrene-Butadiene

Acrylic

Saran

10

20

Other*

20

Total

318

WAX

Polypropylene

1 966

1 970

1 97 5

425

600

750

30

50

75

175

150

35

85

125

Polyvinylidene Chloride

10

Linear Polyester

Polystyrene

Cellulose Acetate

PliofUm

Other*

10

15

950

1 , 143

724

155

250

50

10

68

ABS

30

Urea

12

10

Phenolics

Cellulosics

10

--

374

25

--

943

450

200

Total

Polystyrene (including impact)

Source: Modern Plastics, Modern Packaging, Arthur D. Little, Inc.

Polyvinyl Chloride

Cellophane

475

*Nylon, polycarbonate, phenoxy, sulfones, acetals, acrylates,


urethane cushioning.
Estimates.

Notes:
Includes: Thermoformed containers from sheet, rigid
plastic boxes, containers, and lids, blister and rigid skin
packs, closures, foamed cases and inner packing.
Excludes: Beverage cases, plastic bottles, and tubes.

FLEXIBLE PLASTICS PACKAGING

Polyethylene and Copolymers

20

160

404

*Nylon, polycarbonate, fluorocarbon, ionomer, polyurethane,


epoxy, cellulose nitrate, special compounds.

Plastic Film

10

High Density Polyethylene

Total

25

266

Low Density Polyethylene

Other*

--

1 975

MAJOR A R E A S OF PR OJ ECTED GR O W TH

PVC, Polyolefins, and


1) Blown plastic bottles,
Polyolefin Copolymers
cannisters, and tubes
will be most impor
Industrial and household
tant resins.
chemicals
Food products
Pharmaceuticals
Cosmetics
2) Thermoformed and injection molded plastic containers
Tubs and lids - frozen desserts
cottage cheese and spreads, margerine
cereals, snack foods, dog foods
cookies, baked goods
PVC, polyolefins and copolymers will be most pre
dominant - acrylics to small extent.
3) Foamed plastic containers and trays
f/
Meat and produce trays

*Nylon, polycarbonate, fluorocarbon, ionomer, polyurethane.


Source: Modern Plastics, Modern Packaging, Arthur D. Little, Inc.
Estimates, National Flexible Packaging Association.

Notes:
Growth will be in bags - multiwall and liners, over
wraps, shrink overwraps, and fUm/tray shipping con350

Egg cartons, cups


Polystyrene
4) Miscellaneous
Bottle carriers and 6-pack devices

TABLE VI
MISCELLANEOUS WIREBOUND AND COOPERED CONTAINERS,
STEEL AND FIBER DRUMS, TEXTILE BAGS, ETC.
(Estimated M Tonsl

1964

1965

1975

Wirebound Containers

294

Nailed Wooden Boxes

5,410

310
5,550

300
3,750

Steel Drums, Pails


Fiber Drums
Tight Cooperage
Metal Strapping
Textile Bags
Total

848
424
27
362
201
7,566

806
433
28

400
500
22

367
185
7,679

375
125
5,472

1950
TABLE IV A
METAL CROWNS AND CAPS
(M Tonsl

Metal Crowns & Caps

1950

1964

1965

1975

226

216

227

190

TABLE V A
ALUMINUM FOIL
(M Tonsl

1950
Converted Aluminum Foil

1964

1965

1975

46

60

88

Rigid Aluminum Foil

25

39

42

84

Total

25+

85

102

172

351

56
350
290
696

APP E N D IX

MATHEMATI CAL M ODEL OF I N CI NE RAT O R E C O N OMICS

352

In the design of an incinerator, consideration should


be given to the economics of owning and operating such
a device in comparison to the costs of total collection by
a scavenger service. Because of the intangible nature of
many private incineration benefits, such an analysis is
clearly of limited use. For that reason, the mathematical
model derived below is not unduly sophisticated.

BA SIS

1) Let the total installed incinerator cost be X


(dollars), depreciated over 1 5 years. (See Fig. B-1)
2) Let the design capacity be Y (lb/hr) and typical
use be at 90 percent of design.
3) Let the incinerator be used N hours/day for 290
days/year. (80 percent of days)

50 -----

100
90

20

'0
t::

0
Po.

Ul

I1l
M
M
0
0

4J
Ul

0
U
'0
Q)
M
M
I1l
4J
Ul
t::
H

10
9
8
7

0.
't-

-1t-1;

6
5

S<,
I-v
6

?'

4
3

1
100

______

__-L

____

______

500

1000

Capacity, Pounds/Hour
FIG. B-' INCINERATOR CAPITAL COST

353

-L

__ __

__

-5000

4) Let 20 percent of the charged waste be left as ash


requiring disposal by scavenger services at the same cost
($1 5.00 per ton) as for unburned refuse.
5) Let manpower be charged on a linearly sliding
scale ranging from six minutes per incinerator hour at
1 00 Ib/hr capacity to fifteen minutes per incinerator
hour at 500 Ib/hr capacity. A 50 percent overhead rate
is applied to the assumed S2.50/hr wage rate.
6) Let maintenance be charged at 7 percent of the
capital cost per year for systems incorporating scrubbers
and' 5 percent of capital for systems without scrubbers.
7) Let electricity be charged at 2 kwhr/hr of operation
@ 2c/kwhr for units with scrubbers and at 1 kwhr/hr for
units without scrubbers.
8) Let taxes and insurance be charged at 2 percent of
X per year.
9) Let water (for scrubber) be charged at 0.6 Y gal/hr
@ 30c/mgal.
1 0) Let natural gas be charged at 1,500 Btu per pound
of refuse burned or 1 ,350 Y Btu/hr @ 9c/therm.

g. Water

0.6Y(290N) (0.3 x 10-3 )


(For scrubbers only)

h. Gas

( 1 3 50Y) ( 290N) (0.09 x 10-5 )

The sum of the above quantities resolves into the fol


lowing equations for the annual cost, converting to a base
of W, the average daily waste load (lbs) :
Annual cost without scrubber (S)
+ 8 1 .7 (W/Y) + 1 . 28W
Annual cost with scrubber (S)
+ 88.7 (W/Y) + 1 . 34W

1 00y o . 284
1 38y o . 3 1 4

These equations can be differentiated and the minimum


annual cost situation (design capacity and daily burning
period). For the case with a scrubber, the equations and
calculated values are given below.
Y
and N

1 . 72Wo. 76
W/ (0.9Y)

A N N U A L COSTS
TABLE I B

1 . With incineration (290N Hours/year, 0.9NY pounds


refuse/day)
Cost Item

Amount (Dollars)

a. Depreciation

X/ I S

b . Residue Hauling

1 5 ( 290N) (0.9Y) (0. 2)


2000

c. Labor & Overhead

( 1 . 5) ( 290N) (2. 50) (0.0625


0.000375Y)

d. Maintenance

0.07X with scrubber; 0.05X


for systems without a scrubber

e. Electricity

2(0.02) (290N) or 1 (0.02)


( 290N)

f. Taxes & Insurance

CALCULATED MI NIMUM ANNUAL COST OPERATION


SCHEDULE

Waste Load
W-lb/day

Purchased Capacity
Y(lb/hr)

1 00
250
500
1 000
2000
5000

Burning Time
N (hrs/day)

57
113
193
326
535
1 1 20

1 . 96
2.45
2.90
3.40
4.15
5.00

2. Scavenger Only - same quantity


Annual Amount

0.02X

1 5 (290N) (.9Y) or 1 5 (290W)


2000
2000
(dollars)

354