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Comment Processing & Handling

New catalyst allows lower-temperature waste destruction

By Scott Jenkins |

Base-catalyzed decomposition (BCD) is a commercially used process developed in the early 1990s by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA; Washington, D.C.) for the destruction of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). It has been used as an alternative to incineration for handling hazardous waste streams. Now, an improved BCD process has been demonstrated. Using a low-cost catalyst, the new BCD process can reduce required temperatures from 300–350°C to 130–200°C. Developed by former EPA scientist Charles Rogers, the new BCD approach can shorten processing and cooling time and allow greater throughput of POPs in industrial waste streams. The lower-temperature process converts dioxins, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), pesticides and other pollutants into carbon residue, anion salts and water. Concentrations of pollutants can be reduced from 50% to less than 1.0 ppm within 20 to 40 minutes, Rogers says.
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