Digestion of Solid Recovered Fuels for Element Analysis with ICP

To ascertain the quality of solid recovered fuels, a mixed sample of heterogeneous fractions was solubilized together with four certified reference materials through microwave-assisted digestion, and environmentally relevant elements were determined.

Wastes have to achieve a defined quality to be considered as solid recovered fuels (SRFs). According to CEN/TS 15359 the European classification system for solid recovered fuels the net calorific value, the chlorine content and an environmental characteristic are required parameters. The limit values are defined in the permit of the specific co-incineration plant.

Rules for sampling, sample preparation and chemical tests can be found in the European standards for solid recovered fuels.

The influence of particle sizes and digestion methods for refuse-derived fuels were former tested by the Umweltbundesamt (Environment Agency Austria). They tested two digestion methods and determined ten environmental relevant elements (English summary page 10/11). According to the study the digestion method with a higher amount of nitric acid was better suited for samples containing high amounts of polyethylene.

In this study an optimized digestion method, originally recommended in the Standard EN 13656 (Characterization of waste) is presented.

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