Waste management (New York, N.Y.) vol:21 issue:8 pages:685-94
Metal containing wastes like MSWI fly ashes and blast furnace sludge form a major environmental problem as they are polluted with heavy metals. The ash has to be landfilled or can be used as a construction material, but a pretreatment is in general necessary. Washing of the ashes with water in order to dissolve soluble salts or extracting the heavy metals with chemicals are possibilities. Blast furnace sludge contains large quantities of iron and carbon and could be recycled in the blast furnace, if the zinc content were not that high. Using a hydrometallurgical process the zinc can be removed from the sludge particles. In order to evaluate such treatment methods knowledge of the leaching behaviour of the studied material is very important. One of the factors influencing the leaching behaviour is the composition and mineralogy of the solids. A sequential extraction procedure, whereby the material is sequentially leached with different leaching solutions, can be used as an aid to characterize the material and to determine which chemical conditions are needed to obtain a sufficient extraction efficiency. To verify the accuracy of the sequential extraction procedure, a method is tested on MSWI fly ash and evaluated by comparing the results with those of leaching experiments whereby the final pH of the leaching solutions is varied over a wide range. Based upon this evaluation some suggestions for the use of the sequential extraction procedure are made and an adapted procedure is suggested, and applied to a blast furnace sludge.