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Superparamagnetic iron oxides nanoparticles from municipal solid waste incinerators
- Funari, V., Mantovani, L., Vigliotti, L., Tribaudino, M., Dinelli, E., Braga, R.
- The Science of the total environment 2018 v.621 pp. 687-696
- X-ray diffraction, biosphere, combustion, electron microscopy, environmental assessment, incinerators, magnetism, magnetite, municipal solid waste, nanoparticles, sulfides, waste incineration
- During their production, management, and landfilling, bottom (BA) and fly (FA) ashes from municipal solid waste incineration may liberate Fe-bearing, ultrafine particles and easily enter different environmental sinks of the biosphere. We aim to explore a collection of BA and FA samples from Italian incinerators to probe magnetic mineralogy and the fraction of harmful superparamagnetic (SP) nanoparticles (d<30nm). X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy observation, temperature- and frequency-dependent magnetometry, and Mossbauer analysis are performed. The integration of information from our rock magnetic and non-magnetic techniques leads us to conclude that the dominant magnetic carrier in our samples is magnetite and its intermediate/impure forms, while sulphides (i.e., monoclinic pyrrhotite) are important ancillary magnetic phases. The SP fraction fluxing from the BA and FA outputs of a single incinerator is detected and estimated in 103tons/year. This work stresses the need to calibrate the current technologies towards a safer management of combustion ashes and certainly to inform the environmental impact assessment by using a combination of different methods.