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Characterisation and management of ash produced in the hospital waste incinerator of Athens, Greece

Kougemitrou, Irene, Godelitsas, Athanasios, Tsabaris, Christos, Stathopoulos, Vassilis, Papandreou, Andreas, Gamaletsos, Platon, Economou, George, Papadopoulos, Dimitris
Journal of hazardous materials 2011 v.187 no.1-3 pp. 421-432
briquettes, cement, chromium, copper, fly ash, gamma radiation, glass, heavy metals, iron, leaching, lead, nickel, radionuclides, wastes, zinc, Greece
Bottom and fly ash samples (BASH and FASH) from the APOTEFROTIRAS S.A. medical waste incinerator (Athens, Greece) were investigated. Powder-XRD data and geochemical diagrams showed BASH to be an amorphous material, analogous to basaltic glass, and FASH consisting of crystalline compounds (mainly CaClOH). Bulk analyses by ICP-MS and point analyses by SEM-EDS indicated a high content of heavy metals, such as Fe, Cu and Cr, in both samples. However, BASH was highly enriched in Ni while FASH was additionally enriched in Zn and Pb. Gamma-ray measurements showed that the radioactivity of both ash samples, due to natural and artificial radionuclides (¹³⁷Cs, ⁵⁷Co), was within the permissible levels recommended by IAEA. According to EN-type leaching tests, BASH was practically inert with regard to the mobility of the hazardous elements in aqueous media. FASH, however, showed a relatively high EN (and TCLP) leachability with regard to Pb and Zn. Finally, the stabilisation method, suggested for the treatment of FASH, included compression of the powder into briquettes using an appropriate machine and embedding the briquettes into pozzolanic cement blocks. After this treatment, TCLP and EN-type tests showed minimal release of Pb and Zn, thereby demonstrating a reliable management of ash waste.