What is the purpose of a boiler in a solid waste incinerator?

How does a solid waste incinerator reduce the need for landfills?

Why must the residue from a solid waste incinerator be treated as hazardous waste?

Why are scrubbers and electrostatic precipitators important pieces of equipment in a solid waste incinerator?

Expert Answers

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A boiler is used in a solid waste incineration facility to capture the heat energy produced by the waste burning and use it to convert liquid water to steam.  The steam is then used to drive a turbine, which is connected to a generator, which produces electricity.  Solid waste incinerators reduce the need for more landfills because they reduce the volume of the waste produced.  Smaller volume transfers directly to a smaller amount of land needed to bury the waste residue in.  The residue must be regarded as hazardous waste because it housed any number of disease causing pathogens, so care must be taken, even though the waste has undergone combustion.  Scrubbers and electrostatic precipitators are important pieces of equipment in that they remove solid particulates that would otherwise pollute the atmosphere.  These particulates are instrumental in causing smog and acid rain.

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