Debromination of novel brominated flame retardants using Zn-based additives: A viable thermochemical approach in the mitigation of toxic effects during e-waste recycling

Mohamed Shafi Kuttiyathil, Labeeb Ali, Abdul Razack Hajamohideen, Mohammednoor Altarawneh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are bromine-bearing additives added to the polymeric fraction in various applications to impede fire ignition. The Stockholm Convention and various other legislations abolished legacy BFRs usage and hence, the so-called novel BFRs (NBFRs) were introduced into the market. Recent studies spotlighted their existence in household dust, aquifers and aquatic/aerial species. Co-pyrolysis of BFRs with metal oxides has emerged as a potent chemical recycling approach that produces a bromine-free stream of hydrocarbon. Herein, we investigate the debromination of two prominent two NBFRs; namely tetrabromobisphenol A 2,3-dibromopropyl ether (TD) and tetrabromobisphenol A diallyl ether (TAE) through their co-pyrolysis with zinc oxide (ZnO) and franklinite (ZnFe2O4). Most of the zinc content in electrical arc furnace dust (EAFD) exists in the form of these two metal oxides. Conversion of these metal oxides into their respective bromides could also assist in the selective extraction of the valuable zinc content in EAFD. The debromination potential of both oxides was unveiled via a multitude of characterization studies to analyze products (char, gas and condensates). The thermogravimetric analysis suggested a pyrolytic run up to 500 °C and the TAE treatment with ZnO produced only a trivial amount of brominated compounds (relative area, 0.83%). Phenol was the sole common compound in condensable products; potentially formed by the β-scission debromination reaction from the parental molecular skeleton. Inorganic compounds and methane were the major constituents in the gaseous products. The pyrochar analyses confirmed the presence of metal bromides retained in the residue, averting the bromine release into the atmosphere. The ion chromatography analysis portrayed <8% of HBr gas release into the atmosphere upon pyrolysis with ZnO. The ZnO dominance herein envisaged further probes into other spinel ferrites in combating brominated polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123645
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume346
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2024

Keywords

  • Co-pyrolysis
  • Franklinite
  • HBr capture
  • NBFR
  • Thermal recycling
  • ZnO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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