Investigation of NO x precursor compounds and other combustion by-products in the primary combustion zone of a waste-incineration plant using on-line, real-time mass spectrometry and Fourier-transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR)

Streibel, T.; Hafner, K.; Mühlberger, F.; Adam, T.; Warnecke, R.; Zimmermann, R.
March 2006
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Mar2006, Vol. 384 Issue 5, p1096
Academic Journal
On-line analysis of trace and bulk gas compounds in the burning chamber of a waste-incineration plant has been performed, with high temporal resolution, by use of a variety of distinctly different measurement techniques. Time-of-flight mass spectrometry was performed with simultaneous use of three ionization techniques—resonance-enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI), single-photon ionization (SPI), and electron-impact ionization (EI). Chemical-ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS), Fourier-transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR), and electrochemical methods were also used. Sampling was conducted by means of a newly developed air-cooled stainless steel lance, to cope with the high temperatures and elevated particle concentrations at the sampling location. Nitrogen species were mainly nitrogen monoxide, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide (HCN), with a small amount (approximately 0.3%) of aromatic nitrogen compounds. NO, NH3, and HCN are the main contributors to the NO x -formation process in the postulated fuel–NO reaction scheme dominant at this location. The NO recycling process thereby plays a major role. Changes in plant operating conditions have a noticeable impact only when the air supply is varied. For example, reduction of oxygen leads to an increase in the HCN fraction of the total nitrogen content and a decrease in the NO fraction, and vice versa.


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