Coalition for Responsible Waste Incineration


Waste streams are inevitable by-products of modern civilization. Along with recycling and reuse, high temperature combustion plays a significant role in managing our nation's -- and the world's -- hazardous waste challenges.

The public's apprehension toward combustion stems largely from perceived health risks from the by-products of the combustion process. In recent years, significant progress has been made in reducing emissions from hazardous waste combustors to trace levels of organic compounds and heavy metals.

An increased understanding of the factors leading to emissions has spurred improvements in design and operation of combustors to the extent that modern, well-operated units have emissions four orders of magnitude lower than those older units which were the cause of concern. As a result of these technological improvements, combustion offers an environmentally sound and often superior method for hazardous waste management.

However, completely controlling trace levels of toxic air emissions and developing efficient continuous emissions monitoring systems are two of the most significant challenges facing industry today. Ongoing research, therefore, must play an important role in developing these increasingly sophisticated emissions reduction and monitoring technologies.

The Coalition for Responsible Waste Incineration is playing a lead role in establishing national, as well as international, combustion research priorities. Through CRWI's Academic Committee, faculty from nearly a dozen leading academic institutions are guiding CRWI in identifying combustion research needs and priorities, sharing important research advancements in combustion and determining practical applications for technological advancements.

CRWI's sponsorship of the Fourth and Fifth International Congresses on International Toxic Combustion By-products brought together combustion experts from around the world to focus attention on techniques that prevent emissions of all by-products into the environment, instead of end of the pipe measures that just transfer pollutants to another media. In addition, CRWI annually participates in a variety of seminars and workshops in the United States and abroad on combustion research needs.

Ongoing dialogue among CRWI's industry and academic membership, as well as the federal government, is vital to focusing research efforts on real industry needs and ensuring that resulting technological solutions are applicable to real world combustion systems.

CRWI will continue to encourage advancements in combustion technology in order to make high temperature combustion of hazardous waste an even more environmentally sound option in the overall waste management hierarchy.

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