Treatment process for MSW combustion fly ash, laboratory and pilot plant experiments
Journal article, 2007
Fly ash from combustion of municipal solid waste sometimes contains large amounts of soluble salts, such as NaCl, even though the content of soluble toxic metal compounds is relatively low. Removal of the salts by washing with water has been suggested as a method to increase the stability of this type of ash. In the work presented here, a simple washing process was studied and evaluated. The process includes three steps: leaching with water, filtration and displacement washing. Basic data were obtained in laboratory experiments and used in the construction of pilot plant equipment at a full size fluidized bed boiler, where a side-stream of the cyclone ash was treated. The process was designed to minimize the water consumption while obtaining an effective removal of salts and a stable ash residue. In order to achieve this, recirculation of leaching liquor was used and the displacement washing was adjusted to become close to ideal. The results showed that an ash/water slurry with a liquid to solid ratio as low as 3 could be handled without difficulty in the mixing, pumping and filtration units. Washing of the filter cake at a liquid to solid ratio of 0.5 removed the major part of the remaining dissolved salts in the pore liquid. About 90% of the chloride content was removed from the ash, whereas the contents of Na, K, Ca, Cd, Pb and a number of other minor elements were removed by 10-30%. Before treatment, the results of ash leaching tests were sometimes too high for chloride (2003/33/EC), but the treatment reduced the amount of soluble chlorides to far below the limit values. The leachability of most metals was reduced or unaffected by the ash treatment. For Na, K and Cl, it was less than 10% of the value for the untreated ash. However, the results showed that some ash components may be mobilized by the washing. Antimony is the most important due to its toxicity. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.