Polychlorinated naphthalene emissions to the atmosphere from typical secondary aluminum smelting plants in southwestern China: concentrations, characterization, and risk evaluation

Abstract

Secondary aluminum smelting industry, as an important source of polychlorinated naphthalene (PCN) in environment, has been concerned in recent years. To figure out the emission characteristics of PCNs and the potential influence on surrounding environment, two typical secondary aluminum smelting plants were selected and PCNs were determined in flue gas, fly ash, aluminum slag, soil, and air samples collected at and around the plants by GC-MS coupled with DFS. PCN emission factors from the flue gas of the two plants (mean 0.006 ng toxic equivalents/t) were found obviously decreased compared with similar smelting process detected in 2010. The stage of feeding material was still the major PCNs discharge period during the whole smelting process. The total PCN concentrations in air were found to be ranked as following: workshops (290–1917 pg/m3), the area near the workshops (62.3–697 pg/m3), and the surrounding areas (29.9–164 pg/m3, mean 64.5 pg/m3). Similar high concentrations of PCNs were found in soil from by the workshop door (983 ng/g dry weight). Soil-air exchange calculations indicated that mono-CN to tetra-CN would volatilize but hepta-CN and octa-CN would be deposited to the soil. Exposure of plant workers and local inhabitants to PCNs through inhalation was found to be acceptable but higher (especially for workers in the workshops) than living areas. The workshop and the nearby area are potential PCNs polluted areas and should be paid attention during the practical operation.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Gareth Thomas, PhD, from Liwen Bianji, Edanz Group China (www.liwenbianji.cn/ac), for editing the English text of a draft of this manuscript.

Funding

This study is financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFC1900103), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 21407137 and 51778592), Beijing Municipal Natural Science Foundation (grant no. 8172048) and the Chinese Central Public Welfare Research Project (2018YSKY-009).

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Correspondence to Zhiqiang Nie or Qifei Huang.

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Fang, Y., Nie, Z., Yang, J. et al. Polychlorinated naphthalene emissions to the atmosphere from typical secondary aluminum smelting plants in southwestern China: concentrations, characterization, and risk evaluation. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 12731–12740 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04744-8

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Keywords

  • Polychlorinated naphthalene
  • Secondary aluminum smelting
  • Flue gas
  • Air
  • Fugacity
  • Risk evaluation