Incineration

What is Incineration?

Incineration is a process of thermal waste disposal that is carried out by burning the waste under intense heat in large furnaces called incinerators or incineration plants.

Is Incineration Harmful?

Incinerators release several pollutants into the atmosphere, which can lead to health deterioration and environmental degradation. The emission of particulate matter, metals, acid gases, etc., poses a significant threat to public health and the environment.

Major health issues include cancer and respiratory symptoms, congenital abnormalities, hormonal defects, and altering sex ratio. Environmental effects include global warming, acidification, smog formation, eutrophication, and human and animal toxicity.

Can Incineration Kill Endospores?

Incineration can kill highly heat-resistant endospores and is used to sterilize medical and biomedical wastes (needles, syringes, cotton, etc.).

How does Incineration Generate Energy?

The heat produced during incineration can be used to run turbines to generate electricity. It is a type of waste-to-energy technology and includes the combustion of organic substances in waste materials.

What are the Disadvantages of Incineration?

  1. The cost of installing an incineration plant is very high.
  2. The gases released into the atmosphere during incineration pollute the air and can cause several health hazards.
  3. Ash waste can harm the environment.

Incineration or Landfill: Which is Better for Waste Disposal?

Incinerating waste is better than landfilling as the latter requires more space. Incineration does not release harmful chemicals into the soil, whereas in the case of landfills, waste is buried inside the soil, thereby polluting it.

What is an Incineration Toilet?

Incineration toilets burn biological wastes into ash instead of flushing it away. As incineration toilets don’t require the waste to be transported for disposal, they solve the challenges around water supply, drainage, and other infrastructure.

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