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Assessing technologies for reducing dust emissions from sintermaking based on cross-media effects and economic analysis

The Industrial Emission Directive (IED) requires industrial establishments to apply the best available techniques (BATs), and competent environmental authorities to set permit conditions based on the emission levels associated with BATs. However, the Directive provides no tools for the assessment of BATs leading to the determination of BAT at the installation level. This study applies the cross-media effects assessment methodology to assess BATs at the installation level, applicable to all industrial sectors. The methodology considers cross-media impacts, economic evaluations such as initial and operation and maintenance cost, and cost-effectiveness as the assessment criteria and relies on emission data both from the local level and operating installations. As an example of application, the methodology was applied to the BAT selection for reducing dust emissions from the sintering process of the iron and steel production. The BAT options of the integrated bag filter system (BFS) and advanced electrostatic precipitator (ESP) were compared. The results suggested that ESP has lower impacts in the impact categories of acidification potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, and eutrophication potential than BFS. In contrast, BFS has lower impacts on the other categories. However, the results from the economic analyses revealed a remarkable advantage of ESP over BFS. With these findings, it was concluded that the identification of the best abatement option for dust emissions with a particular reference to BAT is a complex issue. Industrial establishments and the competent environmental authorities must consider not only the environmental impacts and economic evaluations but also legal obligations in developing their approach to emission control.