Mechanisms for formation of pollutants in fires
Altarawneh, M. and Dlugogorski, B.Z. (2013) Mechanisms for formation of pollutants in fires. In: Proceeding of the Seventh International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards (ISFEH7), 5 - 10 May, Providence, RI, USA pp. 27-36.
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While emissions of pollutants from conventional sources, such as industrial and thermal processes, have been in decline over the last two decades, fires have become major sources for the emission of several contaminants. This review summarises chemical mechanisms pertinent to the formation of prominent pollutants, such as CO, NOx, HCN, HCl, soot, and trace species, such as PCDD/Fs (dioxins). We commence by discussing the most important groups of fire pollutants and the types of fires responsible for their formation. This is followed by short descriptions of main reaction pathways operating in the formation of pollutants; i.e., pyrolysis and oxidation that are principally responsible for the emission of CO and CO2. We then tackle contaminant formation in fires of biomass, before proceeding to discuss the formation of soot, PCDD/F and PBDD/F (brominated dioxins). This leads us to reviewing of pollutants produced in fires involving polymers (with focus on PVC and nylon) and polyfluorocarbons.
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