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Published: Kem. Ind. 57 (1) (2008) 9–18
Paper reference number: KUI-15/2006
Paper type: Review
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Electric Arc Furnace as a Source of Emission of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans in Perspective of the Council Directive 96/61 EC Concerning Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control

T. Sofilić, A. Rastovčan-Mioč+ and Z. Šmit


As the accumulation of PCDDs/Fs in the natural environment poses a great threat, and the pollution of the environment with these highly toxic compounds from various emitters needs to be prevented, many countries have conducted an inventory of industrial sources and their emissions in order to obtain better insight into the share of particular sources in the total emission of PCDDs/Fs and to develop strategies to reduce these emissions. Metallurgical processes like sintering of iron ore, production of steel and non-ferrous and light metals from scrap material belong to a group of stationary PCDDs/Fs emitters and their share in the total PCDDs/Fs emission into the environment is very significant. The relative significance of particular metallurgical processes varies from country to country, depending on the nature of a particular process, installed capacities and annual output levels. As the modern approach to observing the environment includes preventive measures, as opposed to corrective post-event measures that were common practice in the past, the owners/operators of metallurgical processes are developing and introducing pollution monitoring and surveillance systems, based on which they take appropriate measures. One of the frequently applied measures is to build and implement the ISO 14001 environmental management system that very efficiently runs production processes along with maintenance of environmental protection on a daily basis. Since the adoption of the ISO 14001 environmental management system is a voluntary decision to be made by each organization, in 1996 the European Union adopted, for the purpose of environmental protection and pollution prevention, the Directive 96/61 EC or IPPC Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) requiring from industrial installations, depending on their type and output level, to obtain environmental permits to run production processes using best available techniques, thus maintaining daily care for environmental protection and preservation. This Directive integrates control of emissions and overall impact of industrial installations on the environment, meaning recognition of the entire impact from particular industrial processes on the environment (air, water, soil, waste, noise, use of raw materials, energy efficiency, prevention of accidents, etc.). The IPPC Directive has introduced a system of authorization (environmental permit) that needs to be obtained in order to perform business activities and run processes using the best available techniques (BAT). Taking into account the harmful impact of PCDDs/Fs on the environment, and their unavoidability in metallurgical processes, a series of methods has been developed for their partial prevention or at least reduction of their concentration in smoke gas discharge, and thus prevent environmental pollution through these very harmful compounds. In order to prevent the occurrence of PCDDs/Fs metallurgical processes often use methods based on the principle of selective catalyst reduction. For removal of the already generated PCDDs/Fs from waste gases methods of thermal decomposition at high temperatures or various sorption, i. e. “dry” and “wet” cleaning techniques are used. As the implementation of the IPPC Directive is a complex procedure requiring highly educated experts, significant investments into production processes and their modernization, or sometimes even replacement, steel shops need to timely prepare themselves for the obligations in order to harmonize the existing regulation with the requirements of the IPPC Directive. The requirements of the Directive have to be studied thoroughly. The required steps have to be carefully thought through, previously identifying the cost and time frame necessary to bring the existing electric arc furnace (EAF) steel production processes into conformance with the requirements of the IPPC Directive. The paper discusses the requirements of the IPPC Directive that are imposed on the steel business owners/operators, with a special review of the PCDDs/Fs emission. It also presents the ways in which the IPPC Directive requirements concerning these highly toxic pollutants can be fulfilled, ensuring conditions to obtain environmental permits to run this activity once the Directive has entered into force.

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IPPC Directive, steel shop, electric arc furnace, dioxins, furans