Leaching from MSWI bottom ash: Evaluation of non-equilibrium in column percolation experiments

Jiri Hyks, Thomas Astrup, Thomas Højlund Christensen

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    Impacts of non-equilibrium on results of percolation experiments on municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) bottom ash were investigated. Three parallel column experiments were performed: two columns with undisturbed percolation and one column with two sets of 1-month-long flow interruptions applied at liquid-to-solid (L/S) ratios of L/S 2 L/kg and 12 L/kg, respectively. Concentrations of Na, K, Cl-, Ca. Si, SO42-, Al, Cu, Ni, Mo, Ba, Pb, Zn, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were monitored throughout the entire leaching period: geochemical modeling was used to identify non-equilibrium-induced changes in the solubility control. Despite both physical and chemical non-equilibrium, the Columns were found to provide adequate information for readily soluble compounds (i.e., Na, Cl-, and K) and solubility-controlled elements (i.e., Ca, SO42-, Ba, Si, Al, Zn, and Pb). The leaching Of Cu and Ni was shown to depend strongly on DOC leaching, which was likely affected by physical non-equilibrium during flow interruptions. Consequently, the leaching of Cu and Ni in the undisturbed Columns Was shown to be by about one order of magnitude lower compared with the interrupted column. The results indicate that the leaching of DOC-related metals in laboratory column experiments may be considerably underestimated compared with full-scale scenarios in which the impacts from non-equilibrium may be significantly lower. The leaching of Mo (or MoO42-) may be controlled solely by its availability in the mobile zone, which in turn appeared to be controlled by diffusion from the stagnant zone: no Mo controlling minerals were predicted by the geochemical modeling.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWaste Management
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)522-529
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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