Energy Recycling by Co-Combustion of Coal and Recovered Paint Solids From Automobile Paint Operations

J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2009 May;59(5):560-7. doi: 10.3155/1047-3289.59.5.560.


During the past decade, there has been substantial interest in recovering energy from many unwanted byproducts from industries and municipalities. Co-combustion of these products with coal seems to be the most cost-effective approach. The combustion process typically results in emissions of pollutants, especially fine particles and trace elements. This paper presents the results of an experimental study of particulate emission and the fate of 13 trace elements (arsenic [As], barium [Ba], cadmium [Cd], chromium [Cr], copper [Cu], cobalt [Co], manganese [Mn], molybdenum [Mo], nickel [Ni], lead [Pb], mercury [Hg], vanadium [V], and zinc [Zn]) during combustion tests of recovered paint solids (RPS) and coal. The emissions from combustions of coal or RPS alone were compared with those of co-combustion of RPS with subbituminous coal. The distribution/partitioning of these toxic elements between a coarse-mode ash (particle diameter [dp] > 0.5 microm), a submicrometer-mode ash (dp < 0.5 microm), and flue gases was also evaluated. Submicrometer particles generated by combustion of RPS alone were lower in concentration and smaller in size than that from combustion of coal. However, co-combustion of RPS and coal increased the formation of submicrometer-sized particles because of the higher reducing environment in the vicinity of burning particles and the higher volatile chlorine species. Hg was completely volatilized in all cases; however, the fraction in the oxidized state increased with co-combustion. Most trace elements, except Zn, were retained in ash during combustion of RPS alone. Mo was mostly retained in all samples. The behavior of elements, except Mn and Mo, varied depending on the fuel samples. As, Ba, Cr, Co, Cu, and Pb were vaporized to a greater extent from cocombustion of RPS and coal than from combustion of either fuel. Evidence of the enrichment of certain toxic elements in submicrometer particles has also been observed for As, Cd, Cr, Cu, and Ni during co-combustion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Automobiles*
  • Coal*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Industry*
  • Paint*
  • Power Plants*


  • Coal