Removal of hazardous metals from MSW fly ash-An evaluation of ash leaching methods
Journal article, 2010
Incineration is a commonly applied management method for municipal solid waste (MSW). However, significant amounts of potentially hazardous metal species are present in the resulting ash, and these may be leached into the environment. A common idea for cleaning the ash is to use enhanced leaching with strong mineral acids. However, due to the alkalinity of the ash, large amounts of acid are needed and this is a drawback. Therefore, this work was undertaken in order to investigate some alternative leaching media (EDTA, ammonium nitrate, ammonium chloride and a number of organic acids) and to compare them with the usual mineral acids and water. All leaching methods gave a significant increase in ash specific surface area due to removal of soluble bulk (matrix) compounds, such as CaCO3 and alkali metal chlorides. The use of mineral acids and EDTA mobilised many elements, especially Cu, Zn and Pb, whereas the organic acids generally were not very effective as leaching agents for metals. Leaching using NH4NO3 was especially effective for the release of Cu. The results show that washing of MSW filter ash with alternative leaching agents is a possible way to remove hazardous metals from MSW fly ash.