Effect of alkaline washing treatment on leaching behavior of municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash

Zhen Chen, Jiang Shan Li, Dongxing Xuan, Chi Sun Poon, Xiao Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to find an effective, inexpensive, and safe washing treatment for municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash (MSWIBA) in order to reduce its potential harmful effects in disposal and recycling. The washing solutions, namely tap water (TW), saturated lime water (SLW), and wastewater from concrete batching plant (WW) were used to wash MSWIBA at different liquid–solid (L/S) ratios and for different durations. Leaching behavior of some heavy metals, chloride, and sulfate from MSWIBA was tested and evaluated. From the TCLP leaching test, when the L/S ratio was above 5, WW was the most effective solution in reducing As, Cd, Se, and Sb emissions from MSWIBA. The calcium and iron ions present in the WW were essential for controlling the leaching of As, Cd, and Sb from MSWIBA due to the formation of stable crystalline pharmacosiderite, cadmium hydroxide sulfate, and hydromeite during the washing process. Using WW showed the best effect in removing sulfate from MSWIBA. At a L/S ratio of 10, about 83% of the sulfate could be removed from MSWIBA after 20 min of washing. The L/S ratio was most influential in removing chloride from MSWIBA. The three washing treatments chosen were effective in reducing the chloride level in MSWIBA to below the level of hazardous waste. Nevertheless, there were still substantial amounts of chloride remaining in the treated MSWIBA. Under the Dutch Building Materials Decree, the treated MSWIBA may be used as a building material in parts which allow isolation, control, and monitoring (ICM).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1966-1978
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Bottom ash pretreatment
  • Chloride
  • Concrete plant wastewater
  • Contaminant demobilization
  • Heavy metal
  • Sulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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