Party!

A6 leaflet - colour2Please find here our invitation to you to attend our party… the exhibition from 13th October to 8th November, and/or the launch event on the evening of 15th October before the Incinerator’s inauguration on the morning of the 16th. If you could let us know you’re coming, that would be very helpful. Thanks for your support!

 

Participate!

Hello! Thank you for your interest and concern. You may be wondering what exactly we are planning. Well, we haven’t ironed out all the details yet. But we can tell you that the overall idea is to knit lots of particles and set them free in Exeter, to bring alive the impact of the incinerator on the city. We’ll probably label them all with this website address, so the people who find the particles can follow the thread back here.

What do we want you to do now? KNIT! We want to keep it simple, so we’d like you to knit some atoms and bonds, and at some future date we will have a sew-a-thon to stitch them all together. Of course, if you feel inspired by the ones we made earlier, feel free to create a whole particle. There is a pattern for atoms here, and a pattern for bonds here, and a pattern telling you how many atoms and bonds in what colours are needed for each particle here.

If you can’t knit, maybe you could help us to spread the word on Twitter. And we’ll need plenty of plastic charity bags for stuffing. Or you could always ask someone to teach you how to knit.

The deadline? Well, the incinerator started operating in spring 2014, but won’t be officially opened until October 2014. We plan to ’emit’ our particles at the same time, exhibiting them at cafés around Exeter, and maybe just leaving them in strategic locations around the city for people to find.

It would help us enormously if you could get in touch and let us know roughly what you are planning and how you are getting on, so we can keep track of who is involved and how many particles we might be getting. We might email you occasionally with updates and encouragement and sew-a-thon dates. We hope that’s OK.

And thank you again!

Pattern – “Particulart”

Particles-Particulart

Download this pattern as a pdf

See also the patterns for the atoms and bonds between atoms.

Colours

Hydrogen
Carbon
Oxygen
Nitrogen
Fluorine
Chlorine
Iodine
Sulphur
Heavy metals
(Mercury, Cadmium)
White
Black
Red
Sky blue
Light green
Medium green
Medium-dark green
Deep yellow
Grey

Particles

Carbon dioxide

CO2

 

Atoms

1 carbon
2 oxygen

Bonds

4 carbon-oxygen

Nitrogen dioxide

NO2

 

Atoms

1 nitrogen
2 oxygen

Bonds

3 nitrogen-oxygen

Nitric oxide

NO

 

Atoms

1 nitrogen
1 oxygen

Bonds

2 nitrogen-oxygen

Nitrous oxide

N2O-1

 

Atoms

2 nitrogen
1 oxygen

Bonds

2 nitrogen
2 nitrogen-oxygen

Alternative version
3 nitrogen
1 nitrogen-oxygen

Sulphur dioxide

SO2

 

Atoms

1 sulphur
2 oxygen

Bonds

4 sulphur-oxygen

Hydrogen fluoride

HF

 

Atoms

1 hydrogen
1 fluorine

Bonds

1 hydrogen-fluorine

Hydrogen chloride

HCl

 

Atoms

1 hydrogen
1 chlorine

Bonds

1 hydrogen-chlorine

Hydrogen bromide

HBr

 

Atoms

1 hydrogen
1 bromine

Bonds

1 hydrogen-bromine

Mercury, Cadmium

Hg

 

Atoms

1 mercury
or
1 cadmium

 

Particulate matter PM2.5

PM2.5

 

Atoms

1 carbon

 

3,3′,4,4′,5-Pentachlorobiphenyl

Atoms

12 carbon
5 hydrogen
5 chlorine

Bonds

5 carbon-hydrogen
5 carbon-chlorine
19 carbon

 PCB

 

2,3,4,7,8-Pentachlorodibenzofuran

Atoms

12 carbon
3 hydrogen
5 chlorine
1 oxygen

Bonds

3 carbon-hydrogen
5 carbon-chlorine
2 carbon-oxygen
19 carbon

 Furan

 

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin

Atoms

12 carbon
4 hydrogen
4 chlorine
2 oxygen

Bonds

4 carbon-hydrogen
4 carbon-chlorine
4 carbon-oxygen
18 carbon

 Dioxin

 

Planning

Invitation to inaugurationAfter months of wondering when the Incinerator would be formally opened, and by whom (Prince Charles was mentioned!), Diana finally received an invitation to The Big Event. This also meant that we could select some dates and start planning in earnest for our exhibition.

Photos – Here’s some we made earlier

The early days of knitting particles.

Carbon thumbnail
Labels thumbnail
CO2 thumbnail
Diana thumbnail
PCB-parts thumbnail
Stuffing thumbnail
Clare thumbnail
Dioxin thumbnail
Dioxin-side thumbnail

PM2.5 sitting pretty in a bed of marigolds

Particulate matter ready and waiting to be emitted

Carbon dioxide (CO2)

The lovely Diana modelling carbon dioxide

Constituent atoms for a PCB, and some carbon atom carcasses

Charity collection bags used for stuffing the atoms

Clare is 2/3 of the way to finishing her first 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (C12H4Cl4O2)

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin from the side

Carbon
Labels
CO2
Diana
PCB-parts
Stuffing
Clare
Dioxin
Dioxin-side

Carbon dioxide

CO2

Molar mass 44.01 g/mol
Lifetime in atmosphere No single lifetime can be given
Global Warming Potential over 100 years 1
Estimated emissions in 2008 51,762,916 Gg
Atmospheric concentration in September 2013 393,510,000 ppt

Nearly all of the carbon content in incinerated waste is emitted to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Municipal solid waste contains approximately the same mass fraction of carbon as does carbon dioxide itself (27%), so incineration of 1 tonne of waste is estimated to produce approximately 1 tonne of carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide emitted by human activity is of course the main cause of global warming leading to climate change. Under the Climate Change Act 2008, the UK is committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by at least 80% by 2050. In 1990, emissions from energy consumption were 10.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per capita, so the target is slightly over 2 tonnes per capita.

In 2011, UK emissions from energy consumption were 8 tonnes per capita, the reduction from 1990 largely due to the replacement of coal by gas in electricity generation. The Exeter Incinerator is designed to accept up to 60,000 tonnes per year of waste, from Exeter and the immediate surrounding area in Devon. With a population of about 120,000, that means 0.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide added to every person’s carbon budget. But suppose the Incinerator replaced some carbon emissions from other energy plant……

Incinerators have electricity generation efficiencies of 14-28%. The waste heat can be used in a district heating network, giving efficiencies higher than 80%. The Exeter Incinerator will initially provide electricity to the national grid, and has the potential to export heat but only if a district heating network is established on the Marsh Barton estate.

So the Incinerator will produce electricity at a substantially lower efficiency than the rest of the national grid, and displace lower carbon alternatives.

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin

Dioxin

Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs; known colloquially and inaccurately as dioxins) are subject to the European Waste Incineration Directive, which puts strict limits on emissions to air. Incineration is controlled to minimise their production, and the flue gas is treated post-combustion. The resulting toxic fly ash must be handled as hazardous waste.

Emissions of dioxins and furans from an incinerator typical of those currently operating in the UK (230,000 tonnes per year) are approximately equivalent to emissions from accidental fires in a town the size of Milton Keynes (population 230,000). That is, emissions from the Exeter Incinerator will be equivalent to half the emissions from accidental fires in Exeter.

The structure of dioxins comprises two benzene rings (six carbon atoms) joined by two oxygen atoms. Chlorine atoms may be attached to this structure at any of positions 1–4 and 6–9 in the above picture, which gives 75 flavours. Hydrogen atoms are attached to the remaining positions.

Dioxins are commonly regarded as highly toxic compounds that are environmental pollutants and persistent organic pollutants. Of the 75 flavours, the seven below are considered toxic by the World Health Organization (WHO). 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin* became known as a contaminant in Agent Orange, and is the most toxic of all. It is therefore designated the reference molecule for rating toxicity.

Flavour (DD stands for
dibenzo dioxin)

Formula

WHO Toxicity
Equivalency Factor

2,3,7,8-Cl4DD

C12H4Cl4O2

1

1,2,3,7,8-Cl5DD

C12H3Cl5O2

1

1,2,3,4,7,8-Cl6DD

C12H2Cl6O2

0.1

1,2,3,7,8,9-Cl6DD

C12H2Cl6O2

0.1

1,2,3,6,7,8-Cl6DD

C12H2Cl6O2

0.1

1,2,3,4,6,7,8-Cl7DD

C12HCl7O2

0.01

Cl8DD

C12Cl8O2

0.0003

For more information, see the Wikipedia articles about polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and specifically 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.

*The ‘p’ stands for ‘para’, indicating the oxygen atoms are opposite each other. The oxygen atoms could be next to each other, which would be indicated by ‘o’ for ‘ortho’, but this molecular configuration is unstable.

2,3,4,7,8-Pentachlorodibenzofuran

Furan

Polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs; known colloquially as furans) are subject to the European Waste Incineration Directive, which puts strict limits on emissions to air. Incineration is controlled to minimise their production, and the flue gas is treated post-combustion. The resulting toxic fly ash must be handled as hazardous waste.

Emissions of dioxins and furans from an incinerator typical of those currently operating in the UK (230,000 tonnes per year) are approximately equivalent to emissions from accidental fires in a town the size of Milton Keynes (population 230,000). That is, emissions from the Exeter Incinerator will be equivalent to half the emissions from accidental fires in Exeter.

The structure of furans comprises two benzene rings (six carbon atoms) joined directly and by one oxygen atom. Chlorine atoms may be attached to this structure at any of positions 1–4 and 6–9 in the above picture, which gives 135 flavours. Hydrogen atoms are attached to the remaining positions.

Of the 135 furan flavours, the ten below exhibit dioxin-like properties and are given toxicity ratings by the World Health Organization (WHO). Furans are commonly regarded as highly toxic compounds that are environmental pollutants and persistent organic pollutants.The reference molecule for rating toxicity is 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.

Flavour (DF stands for
dibenzo furan)

Formula

WHO Toxicity
Equivalency Factor

2,3,7,8-Cl4DF

C12H4Cl4O

0.1

1,2,3,7,8-Cl5DF

C12H3Cl5O

0.03

2,3,4,7,8-Cl5DF

C12H3Cl5O

0.3

1,2,3,4,7,8-Cl6DF

C12H2Cl6O

0.1

1,2,3,7,8,9-Cl6DF

C12H2Cl6O

0.1

1,2,3,6,7,8-Cl6DF

C12H2Cl6O

0.1

2,3,4,6,7,8-Cl6DF

C12H2Cl6O

0.1

1,2,3,4,6,7,8-Cl7DF

C12HCl7O

0.01

1,2,3,4,7,8,9-Cl7DF

C12HCl7O

0.01

Cl8DF

C12Cl8O

0.0003

For more information, see the Wikipedia article about dioxins and dioxin-like compounds.

3,3′,4,4′,5-Pentachlorobiphenyl

PCB

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, not to be confused with printed circuit boards) are not subject to the European Waste Incineration Directive, but emissions can be controlled in the same way as dioxins and furans; incineration is controlled to minimise their production, and the flue gas is treated post-combustion.

The structure comprises two joined phenyl rings (six carbon atoms). Chlorine atoms may be attached to this structure at any of positions 2-6 and 2′-6′ in the above picture, which gives 209 flavours. Hydrogen atoms are attached to the remaining positions.

Of the 209 PCB flavours, the twelve below exhibit dioxin-like properties and are given toxicity ratings by the World Health Organization (WHO). PCBs are commonly regarded as highly toxic compounds that are environmental pollutants and persistent organic pollutants.The reference molecule for rating toxicity is 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.

Flavour

Formula

WHO Toxicity
Equivalency Factor

3,3′,4,4′-Tetrachlorobiphenyl

C12H6Cl4

0.0001

3,4,4′,5-Tetrachlorobiphenyl

C12H6Cl4

0.0003

2,3,3′,4,4′-Pentachlorobiphenyl

C12H5Cl5

0.00003

2,3,4,4′,5-Pentachlorobiphenyl

C12H5Cl5

0.00003

2,3′,4,4′,5-Pentachlorobiphenyl

C12H5Cl5

0.00003

2′,3,4,4′,5-Pentachlorobiphenyl

C12H5Cl5

0.00003

3,3′,4,4′,5-Pentachlorobiphenyl

C12H5Cl5

0.1

2,3,3′,4,4′,5-Hexachlorobiphenyl

C12H4Cl6

0.00003

2,3,3′,4,4′,5′-Hexachlorobiphenyl

C12H4Cl6

0.00003

2,3′,4,4′,5,5′-Hexachlorobiphenyl

C12H4Cl6

0.00003

3,3′,4,4′,5,5′-Hexachlorobiphenyl

C12H4Cl6

0.03

2,3,3′,4,4′,5,5′-Heptachlorobiphenyl

C12H3Cl7

0.00003

For more information, see the Wikipedia articles about polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins and dioxin-like compounds.

Nitrogen oxides

NOx

Nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are subject to the European Waste Incineration Directive, which puts strict limits on emissions to air. But removal of nitric oxide by incinerators is only about 60% effective and the remainder may be converted to nitrogen dioxide to form smog and acid rain.

Nitrogen dioxide has a variety of health impacts, such as higher incidence of respiratory symptoms in children, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, heart disease in those over 65, and abnormally elevated immune and allergic responses. When nitrogen dioxide is combined with fine particulates and carcinogenic heavy metals (in particular cadmium), the effects on lung cancer are likely to be more potent.