The combustion zones in a refuse incinerator are commonly referred to as furnaces. Several common designs are currently in use: single-chamber furnaces, dual-chamber furnaces, multiple-chambered furnaces, rotary combus-tors, and fluidized combustors. The most common configuration includes the rectangular furnace, the multicell furnace, the vertical circular furnace, the combined rectangular furnace, and the rotary kiln. Furnaces can also be distinguished according to the type of grates used.
Because all large modern incinerators are continuous, this section discusses only continuous systems. Two classes of continuously feed furnaces are used today: refractory-lined and waterwall furnaces. Waterwall furnaces recover waste heat as well as reduce waste volume, while refractory furnaces are usually designed for volume reduction. Waterwall furnaces have water-filled tubes instead of refractory material lining the combustion chambers. As burning refuse transfers heat through the walls to the water in the tubes, these tubes form a cool wall which is in contact with the flame and hot gas. These cooler walls prevent the accumulation of slag on the side of the combustion chamber and produce steam.
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