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J Hazard Mater. 2002 Feb 14;90(1):39-49.

Chromium behavior during thermal treatment of MSW fly ash.

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Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, Ont., M5S 3E5, Toronto, Canada.


Energy-from-waste incineration has been promoted as an environmentally responsible method for handling non-recyclable waste from households. Despite the benefits of energy production, elimination of organic residues and reduction of volume of waste to be landfilled, there is concern about fly ash disposal. Fly ash from an incinerator contains toxic species such as Pb, Zn, Cd and Cr which may leach into soil and ground water if landfilled. Thermal treatment of the fly ash from municipal solid waste has been tested and proposed as a treatment option for removal of metal species such as Pb, Cd and Zn, via thermal re-volatilization. However, Cr is an element that remains in the residue of the heat treated fly ash and appears to become more soluble. This Cr solubilization is of concern if it exceeds the regulatory limit for hazardous waste. Hence, this unexpected behavior of Cr was investigated. The initial work involved microscopic characterization of Cr in untreated and thermally-treated MSW fly ash. This was followed by determining leaching characteristics using standard protocol leaching tests and characterization leaching methods (sequential extraction). Finally, a mechanism explaining the increased solubilization was proposed and tested by reactions of synthetic chemicals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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