The behaviour of Cd, Cr, Cu, Co, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn and Hg during the combustion tests of granular dry sewage sludges on a pilot FBC of about 0,3 MW was evaluated. The emissions of these heavy metals from mono-combustion were compared with those of co-combustion of the sludge with a bituminous coal. The effect of the addition of limestone was also studied in order to retain sulphur compounds and to verify its influence on the retention of heavy metals. Heavy metals were collected and analysed from different locations of the installation, which included the stack, the two cyclones and the material removed from the bed. The results showed that the volatility of metals was rather low, resulting in emissions below the legal limits of the new directive on incineration, with the exception of Hg during the mono-combustion tests. The partitioning of metals, except for Hg, appeared to follow that of ashes, amounting to levels above 90% in the bed streams in the mono-combustion case. For co-combustion, there was a lower fixation of HM in the bed ashes, mostly originating essentially from the sewage sludge, ranging between 40 and 80%. It is believed that in this latter case, a slightly higher bed temperature could have enhanced the volatilisation, especially of Cd and Pb. However these metals were then retained in cyclone ashes. In the case of Hg, the volatilisation was complete. The bed ashes were free of Hg and part of it was retained in the cyclone and emitted as both fine ash particles and in gaseous forms. In mono-combustion the Hg emissions from the stack (particles and gas) accounted for about 50%, although there was a significant amount unaccounted for. This appeared to have significantly decreased in the case of co-combustion, as only about 15% has been emitted, due to the retention effect of cyclone ashes which presented high quantities of unburned carbon and possibly condensed sulphur species.

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