The International Congress on Combustion By-Products and their Health Effects has a long tradition of bringing together scholars and researchers from various disciplines of environmental sciences. By design it provides a unique platform for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience from within the different disciplines of environmental sciences to advance perspective on the most current and relevant issues associated with combustion. Combustion and thermal processes represent significant environmental and health concerns associated with the remediation of Superfund sites and are of critical importance to the Superfund Research Program. On-site, controlled high-temperature incineration has been reduced by EPA in recent years due to intense public scrutiny and replaced by low temperature thermal desorption/treatment and off-site incineration. All of these processes lead to emission of toxic air pollutants, and often this is worse with the low temperature desorption/treatment than for on-site incineration. Combustion, in terms of this Congress, is used liberally and includes all forms of thermal reactions that occur either accidentally or intentionally during processes to remediate wastes at Superfund sites. It includes catalytic oxidation, thermal desorption processes, and incineration. It also includes other combustion/thermal reactions including energy production and biomass/fuel burning. The goal of this congress is to provide an international forum to discuss topics on the origins, fate, and health effects of combustion by-products. Combustion borne pollutants and their environmental and health impacts are the focus of distinct disciplinary groups of scientists, government officials, and stakeholders. Although these individuals approach these topics from different perspectives and have different endpoints, these individuals share a common goal - to understand the mechanisms of pollutant formation and their health/environmental effects and devise better technologies to reduce pollutant formation during combustion processes. This meeting is unique in that it brings this multidisciplinary group of individuals together to focus o these problems. It uniquely encourages communication among diverse scientists to ensure better understanding of emerging problems as well as well documented ones, which is critical for advancement of our understanding of this diverse field. Most importantly, the Congress actively nurtures the development of younger researcher and trainees by fostering interactions between them and accomplished researchers in this diverse field. With this proposal we are requesting financial support to cover the travel expenses of four (out of six) invited world-renown scholars. These scientists will share their knowledge, experience and cutting-edge scientific results at the plenary sessions of the Congress. The invitation of renowned scientists provides a basis for deep discussions both during the scientific sessions and dinner/networking sessions and serves as instructional enhancement for the conference, particularly for the junior researchers and trainees.
The Congress provides a platform for discussion and exchange of scientific ideas and opinions between the chemists/engineers, biomedical researchers, governmental officials, and stakeholders working on combustion processes and associated environmental and health impacts. These groups of individuals do not normally interact at scientific meetings and yet this interaction is necessary to exchange ideas and advance the field of environmental science. Such discussion is especially important in view of changing composition of thermally treated wastes (such as inclusion of e-wastes) as well as increase use of biofuels.