In this study a pilot plant for electrodialytic treatment of municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) air pollution control (APC) residue was tested and proposed as a treatment method which can lead to reuse of this otherwise hazardous waste. The pilot plant was developed based on a design that is adapted from conventional electrodialysis, e.g. used in desalination of solutions. The APC residue was treated in a suspension (8 kg APC residue and 80 L tap water) and circulated through an electrodialytic (ED) stack consisting of 50 cell pairs separated by ion exchange membranes. A direct current was applied to the ED stack for removal of heavy metals (As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn) and salts (Cl, Na, SO4) from the APC residue suspension. Different tank designs for mixing the APC residue suspension were tested as well as changing experimental conditions. A part of the raw experimental APC residue was carbonated by reaction with CO2 under moist conditions prior to electrodialytic treatment. The carbonation alone reduced the leaching of some heavy metals. However, it was not sufficient to reduce the heavy metal or salt leaching to meet the Danish Category 3 guideline levels for waste material reuse and could not stand as a treatment method alone. Leaching of both heavy metals and salts were significantly reduced by the electrodialytic treatment for both the raw and carbonated APC residue. In the electrodialytically treated carbonated APC residue only Cr exceeded the Category 3 levels while in the electrodialytically treated raw APC residue both Pb and Zn leaching exceeded the Category 3. Optimization of the electrodialytic upgrading method is necessary to meet the Category 3 levels for all heavy metals. Removal of Na and SO4 to below the Category 3 leaching levels were obtained in all the experiments. Cl removal was not sufficient in all experiments even if up to 1 kg of Cl was removed, the optimal conditions for Cl removal was a constant current of 5 A over the ED stack. The results of this study suggest that, with some optimization, electrodialytic upgrading, possibly in combination with carbonation, could be used as a treatment method for MSWI APC residue.
Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, 2010, Vol 40, Issue 6, p. 1049-1060