Comparison of different MSWI fly ash treatment processes on the thermal behavior of As, Cr, Pb and Zn in the ash

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Abstract

To reduce heavy metal leaching and stabilize municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) fly ash, different methods and combination of methods were tested: water washing, electrodialytic separation and thermal treatment at 1000°C. A comparison of heavy metal concentration and leaching levels of As, Cr, Pb and Zn for the different untreated and treated ashes was made. The results showed that minimizing leaching to meet the limiting values of the all the studied heavy metals can be obtained at the same time by combining water washing, electrodialytic separation and thermal treatment. The ash subjected to this combination had lower Cr than the ash solely subjected to thermal treatment or subjected to water washing prior to thermal treatment. The electrodialytic separation (EDS) of the washed ash lowered pH from alkaline to acidic, which resulted in elevated leaching of Cd and Zn, while the Cr leaching was reduced. Up to 58.6% of Zn and 5.5% of Pb were extracted by EDS compared to less than 0.6% extraction by water washing. During thermal treatment of the EDS treated ash, the ash was re-alkalized. Due to solidification and possibly evaporation, most heavy elements left in the thermally treated ash were stabilized and immobilized. However, leaching of As and/or Cr was still problematic and did not meet the limit value for the thermally treated ash being recycled in construction work. The removal of Ca and decomposition of Ca oxides and minerals during EDS was linked to the leaching patterns of As and Cr after thermal treatment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWaste Management
Volume68
Pages (from-to)240-251
ISSN0956-053X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Electrokinetic remediation
  • Fly ash
  • Heavy metals
  • Sequential extraction
  • Thermal stability
  • Trace elements

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