Mineralization Behavior of Fluorine in Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) during Thermal Treatment of Lime-Conditioned Sludge
The fate and transport of the fluorine in perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) during the thermal treatment of lime-conditioned sludge were observed using both qualitative and quantitative X-ray diffraction techniques. Two main fluorine mineralization mechanisms leading to the substantial formation of CaF2 and Ca5(PO4)3F phases were observed. They had a close relationship with the thermal treatment condition and the PFOS content of the sludge. At low temperatures (300–600 °C), CaF2 dominated in the product and increases in treatment time and temperature generally enhanced the fluorine transformation. However, at higher temperatures (700–900 °C), increases in treatment time and temperature had a negative effect on the overall efficiency of the fluorine crystallization. The results suggest that in the high temperature environment there were greater losses of gaseous products such as HF and SiF4 in the transformation of CaF2 to Ca5(PO4)3F, the hydrolysis of CaF2, and the reaction with SiO2. The quantitative analysis also showed that when treating sludge with low PFOS content at high temperatures, the formation of Ca5(PO4)3F may be the primary mechanism for the mineralization of the fluorine in PFOS. The overall results clearly indicate the variations in the fate and transport of fluorine in PFOS when the sludge is subject to different PFOS contents and treatment types, such as heat drying or incineration.