American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Full Scale Tests of Short-Term Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Bottom Ash Weathering Before Landfill Disposal

Franco Marchese and Giuseppe Genon

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2009.570.577

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 5, Issue 4

Pages 570-577


Problem statement: Natural weathering is the most economic method of treatment in order to reduce the release of heavy metals present in the residue. Approach: The aim of the study was to optimize the minimum weathering times that were useful to reduce the lead release to within the Italian limits for landfill disposal. The mechanism of short-term weathering of MSWI bottom ash had been studied and its effect on the leaching of lead had been evaluated. Two bottom ash heaps had been realized for the experimental assessment: In one case an open-air situation was used, in the other, a heap placed under shelter was not exposed to rain. Results: The weathering course was monitored through the results of a leaching test that was carried out at different ageing times (EN 12457-2:2002). The total carbonates were also measured, at the same time, on the fine fraction of the weathered bottom ash (<1 mm). A fast decrease in lead release was observed in the analysis of the leachates and, at the same time, a decrease in pH and calcium concentration. The pH and leachate lead concentration control mechanisms were investigated and individuated. It had been possible to observe that the lead concentration was fundamentally a function of the pH. The Calcite precipitation that occurred from calcium hydroxide carbonation was the main reason for the decrease above all during the first days of the process, when the maximum quantity of CO2 was fixed by air. The pH value was controlled by Portlandite dissolution only at the beginning, after the pH control seems to be due to aluminum hydroxides. Conclusion: The most significant changes in the bottom ash were found to occur in the first 60 days. It had been possible to verify the limited influence of washing phenomena while it was confirmed that carbonation was the most important process in short-term weathering and that it had an important rule on limiting lead release.


© 2009 Franco Marchese and Giuseppe Genon. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.