Incineration is a process whereby organic compounds in contaminated soil are destroyed in the presence of oxygen at high temperatures (U.S. EPA 1990a). Three common types of incinerators are rotary kilns, circulating fluidized beds, and infrared incinerators. The excavated contaminated soil is fed into the incinerator and incinerated at temperatures ranging from 1600 to 2200°F. Because the residual ash may contain residual metals, it must be disposed of in accordance with appropriate regulations. In addition, the generated flue gases must be handled with appropriate air pollution control equipment.
Incineration is potentially effective for halogenated and nonhalogenated volatiles as well as fuel hydrocarbons and pesticides. Most organic contaminants are destroyed by this technology; however, metals are not destroyed and end up in the flue gases or the ash. In addition, certain types of soils such as clay soils or soil containing rocks may need screening prior to incineration.
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