Monitoring of heavy metal particle emission in the exhaust duct of a foundry using LIBS

Abstract : Heavy metals have long been known to be detrimental to human health and the environment. Their emission is mainly considered to occur via the atmospheric route. Most of airborne heavy metals are of anthropogenic origin and produced through combustion processes at industrial sites such as incinerators and foundries. Current regulations impose threshold limits on heavy metal emissions. The reference method currently implemented for quantitative measurements at exhaust stacks consists of on-site sampling of heavy metals on filters for the particulate phase (the most prominent and only fraction considered in this study) prior to subsequent laboratory analysis. Results are therefore known only a few days after sampling. Stiffer regulations require the development of adapted tools allowing automatic, on-site or even in-situ measurements with temporal resolutions. The Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technique was deemed as a potential candidate to meet these requirements. On site experiments were run by melting copper bars and monitoring emission of this element in an exhaust duct at a pilot-scale furnace in a French research center dedicated to metal casting. Two approaches designated as indirect and direct analysis were broached in these experiments. The former corresponds to filter enrichment prior to subsequent LIBS interrogation whereas the latter entails laser focusing right through the aerosol for detection. On-site calibration curves were built and compared with those obtained at laboratory scale in order to investigate possible matrix and analyte effects. Eventually, the obtained results in terms of detection limits and quantitative temporal monitoring of copper emission clearly emphasize the potentialities of the direct LIBS measurements.
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Christophe Dutouquet, Guillaume Gallou, Olivier Le Bihan, J.B. Sirven, Adrien Dermigny, et al.. Monitoring of heavy metal particle emission in the exhaust duct of a foundry using LIBS. Talanta, Elsevier, 2014, 127, pp.75-81. ⟨10.1016/j.talanta.2014.03.063⟩. ⟨ineris-01862437⟩

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