Incineration at the Celanese Superfund Site, Shelby, North Carolina

Site Name:

Celanese Superfund Site


Shelby, North Carolina

Period of

April 1991 to December 1991


Remedial action


Terry Elmaggar
GDC Engineering, Inc.
822 Neosho Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
(504) 383-8556

On-Site Incineration
- Solids pretreated with screening and mixing with sawdust
- Incineration system consisting of rotary kiln and secondary combustion chamber (SCC)
- Soil residence time of 45 minutes, kiln temperature of 1,500°F; SCC temperature of 1,900°F
- Treated soil and sludge (incineration ash) discharged into a wet ash collection system

Cleanup Authority:
CERCLA and State: North Carolina
- ROD Date: 3/28/89
- PRP-Lead

SIC Code:
2824 (Manufacturing manmade
organic fibers)
Point of Contact:
McKenzie Mallary
U.S. EPA Region 4
Atlanta Federal Center
100 Alabama Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3104
(404) 562-8802

Ethylene glycol, volatile organic compounds, metals, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and phenol

Trichloroethylene, benzene, phenols, lead, chromium, and antimony
Maximum concentrations of ethylene glycol (12,000 mg/kg) antimony (3,000 mg/kg), lead (2,041 mg/kg) and chromium (40 mg/kg).

Waste Source:
Disposal of waste sludges

Type/Quantity of Media Treated:
Sludge and Soil
- 4,660 tons of sludge and soil
- Moisture content: sludge - 25%

Purpose/Significance of Application:
Lowest volume incinerated for all of the case studies

Regulatory Requirements/Cleanup Goals:
Destruction and Removal Efficiency (DRE) of 99.99% for each constituent of concern as required by Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) incinerator regulations in 40 CFR part 264, subpart O

- Emissions and trial burn data indicate that all DRE and emission standards were met
- Analytical data of residuals indicate that cleanup goals were met

The site began operation in April 1960 and is still operating. Between 1960 and the early 1980s, plant wastes from the production of polyester raw-material were disposed of in burn pits and sludge was buried in trenches. Between 1970 and 1978, drums of waste chemicals and solvents were stored on site. A site investigation was conducted in 1981. A Record of Decision (ROD), signed in March 1989, specified on-site incineration as the remediation technology for the excavated sludge and soil. Site cleanup goals and DRE standards of 99.99% for constituents of concern were specified in the ROD.

On-site incineration began in April 1991. During its period of operation, the incinerator processed 4,660 tons of sludge and soil. The treatment system consisted of a rotary kiln and an SCC. An enclosed conveyor moved the soil and debris to the kiln for treatment. Treated ash from the incinerator was discharged to a wet ash collection system. The system used an air pollution control system that consisted of a baghouse and a packed-bed scrubber. Incineration achieved the soil cleanup goals specified in the ROD.

The total cost of the remedial action was approximately $5,800,000, including $3,925,000 in capital costs and $1,875,000 in operation and maintenance costs.