Boilers and Industrial Furnaces

The second class of combustion units is BIFs. Boilers are used to recover energy from hazardous waste, whereas industrial furnaces are used primarily to recover material values.

U.S. EPA defines boilers as enclosed devices that use controlled flame combustion to recover and export energy in the form of steam, heated fluid, or heated gases. A boiler comprises two main parts, the combustion chamber used to heat the hazardous waste and the tubes or pipes that hold the

Auxiliary fuel and/or liquid waste

Auxiliary fuel and/or liquid waste

Ash discharge

FIGURE 12.9 Cross section of an incinerator. (Adapted from U.S. EPA, RCRA Orientation Manual, www.

Ash discharge

FIGURE 12.9 Cross section of an incinerator. (Adapted from U.S. EPA, RCRA Orientation Manual, www.

fluid used to produce energy. The regulatory definition of a boiler requires that these two parts be in close proximity to one another to ensure the effectiveness of the unit's energy recovery system and to maintain high thermal energy recovery efficiency. In addition, the unit must export or use the majority of the recovered energy for a beneficial purpose.

Industrial furnaces are enclosed units that are integral parts of a manufacturing process and use thermal treatment to recover materials or energy from hazardous waste. These units may use hazardous waste as a fuel to heat raw materials to make a commodity (e.g., a cement kiln making cement) or the unit may recover materials from the actual hazardous waste (e.g., a lead smelter recovering lead values). The following 12 devices meet the definition of an industrial furnace1,2:

1. Cement kiln

2. Aggregate kiln

3. Coke oven

4. Smelting, melting, and refining furnace

5. Methane reforming furnace

6. Pulping liquor recovery furnace

7. Lime kiln

8. Phosphate kiln

9. Blast furnace

10. Titanium dioxide chloride process oxidation reactor

11. Halogen acid furnace

12. Combustion device used in the recovery of sulfur values from spent sulfuric acid.

After notice and comment, U.S. EPA may add other devices to this list of industrial furnaces upon consideration of factors related to the design and use of the unit.

Not all units that meet the definition of a boiler or industrial furnace are subject to the RCRA BIF standards. Each individual unit must first be evaluated against a number of exemptions from the BIF requirements. For a variety of reasons (e.g., to avoid duplicative regulation), U.S. EPA exempted the following units from the BIF regulations1,2:

1. Units burning used oil for energy recovery.

2. Units burning gas recovered from hazardous or solid waste landfills for energy recovery.

3. Units burning hazardous wastes that are exempt from RCRA regulation, such as household hazardous wastes.

4. Units burning hazardous waste produced by CESQGs.

5. Coke ovens burning decanter tank tar sludge from coking operations.

6. Certain units engaged in precious metals recovery.

7. Certain smelting, melting, and refining furnaces processing hazardous waste solely for metals recovery.

8. Certain other industrial metal recovery furnaces.

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