Influence of ammonia on leaching behaviors of incineration fly ash and its geochemical modeling

Thomas Fruergaard Astrup, Zhen Zhen Guan, De Zhen Chen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Incineration fly ash could be contaminated with NH3 that was slipped from the ammonia-based selective non-catalytic reduction(SNCR) process and from evaporation of municipal solid wastes' leachate involved in the wastes. This research was conducted to investigate the impacts of ammonia on leaching of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and metals from incineration fly ash in the pH range of 3.66-12.44 with an active ammonia spike. A geochemical modeling software Visual MINTEQ was adopted to calculate the chemical speciation of metals under the leaching conditions to reveal the mechanism behind the impacts. It was proved that at pH>9, the leaching of DOC increased significantly in the presence of high concentrations of ammonia (≥1357 mg·L-1), but there was little effect when the ammonia level in eluates was not higher than 537 mg·L-1. At pH12, for Cd, Cu, Ni and Zn, their leaching species were predominantly in the form of hydroxide complexes. Under the ammonia concentration of 3253 mg·L-1, the Visual MINTEQ modeling results were compared with the experimental data, and it was proved that the leaching of Al, Pb and Zn was mainly controlled by precipitation/dissolution modeling, while Cd, Cu and Ni were controlled by precipitation/dissolution and surface complexation/precipitation processes; Visual MINTEQ modeling could well describe the leaching behaviors of Al, Cu, Pb and Zn from incineration fly ash.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalHuanjing Kexue
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)2464-2472
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Ammonia slip
    • Heavy metals leaching
    • Incineration fly ash
    • Selective non-catalytic reduction(SNCR)
    • Visual MINTEQ


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