This study focused on the thermal degradation of polycarbonate (BrPC) and high-impact polystyrene (BrHIPS), containing different brominated flame retardants. The evolved inorganic bromine was utilized for the separation of metals present in electric arc furnace dust (EAFD). The thermal degradation of BrPC generated inorganic gaseous HBr (69%) and condensable Br2 (31%). The bromine evolved from BrHIPS was detected almost entirely in a condensed phase as SbBr3. When mixed with EAFD, the evolved inorganic bromine reacted immediately with the metallic components of zinc and lead, but not with iron. The best bromination efficiencies were obtained during the isothermal heating (80 min at 550 °C) of the mixtures at mass ratios of 6:1 and 9:1 w/w under oxidizing conditions. The achieved brominating rates reached 78 and 81% for zinc and 90 and 94% for lead in 6:1 and 9:1 BrPC:EAFD, respectively, and 47 and 65% for zinc and 67 and 63% for lead in 6:1 and 9:1 BrHIPS:EAFD, respectively. The oxidizing condition favored complete vaporization of the formed bromides.
- Inorganic bromine utilization
- Metallurgical dust
- Metals separation
- Polycarbonate and high-impact polystyrene
- Waste combustion