M.S. Thesis: Sources and Pathways of Dioxins to Humans – Diminished Contribution of Modern WTE Facilities

By Jay M. Thrasher

Advisor: Prof. Nickolas J. Themelis

Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science
Columbia University

November 30, 2014

The objective of this thesis was to examine the major sources of dioxins, globally, and the contribution of the waste-to-energy (WTE) industry in the last quarter of a century since the toxic effects of dioxins were first recognized. In the early nineties, environmental agencies in the U.S., Europe and Japan established the very stringent emission standard of 0.1 nanograms TEQ dioxins per standard cubic meter of stack gas (ng TEQ/dscm). This standard motivated innovation in the industry and major changes of the Air Pollution Control (APC) systems of WTE facilities.

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