Physicochemical and pozzolanic properties of municipal solid waste incineration fly ash with different pretreatments

Zhen Chen, Jiang Shan Li, Chi Sun Poon, Wen Hao Jiang, Zi Han Ma, Xin Chen, Jian Xin Lu, Hao Xin Dong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Swelling caused by gas generated from municipal solid waste incineration fly ash (MSWIFA) when it is mixed with alkali limits its uses. Besides, the leaching of anion salts and heavy metals contained in MSWIFA poses a high risk to environment. This study presents the feasibility of a one-step alkaline washing, one-step thermal quenching and two-step combination of alkaline washing and thermal quenching pretreatment methods in altering the key properties of MSWIFA for promoting its reusability. It was found that apart from H2(gas), NH3(gas) was also generated during the alkaline washing of the MSWIFA. Besides, pretreatments led to the reduction in particle size, the increase in pore volume and specific surface area of the MSWIFA, as well as the removal of chloride and sulfate anions. All the pretreatment methods were effective in reducing leaching of heavy metals to below levels of nonhazardous waste except Cd and Pb with alkaline washing. Furthermore, both the chemical Frattini test and the mechanical activity index test showed improvement in pozzolanic activities of the MSWIFA after the pretreatments. Overall, the combined pretreatment method was most effective in eliminating gas emission, and reducing leaching of metal ions and anions from the ash, while enhancing the pozzolanic activity of the ash.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-155
Number of pages10
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • Chloride
  • Leaching
  • MSWI fly ash
  • Pozzolanic activity
  • Pretreatment
  • Sulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal


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