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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Speciation of Cu and Zn in bottom ash from solid waste incineration studied by XAS, XRD, and geochemical modelling

Tiberg, Charlotta; Sjostedt, Carin; Fedje, Karin Karlfeldt


Millions of tons of bottom ash (BA) is generated from incineration of industrial and municipal solid waste each year within EU. The magnitude of leaching of metals like Cu and Zn is critical for hazard and risk assessment of these ashes. Although speciation of metals is a key factor to understand and predict metal leaching, speciation of Cu and Zn in BA is not well known. In this study six metal separated and carbonized BA were investigated by a combination of X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, leaching/extraction tests, and geochemical modelling. Five of the BA were from grate boilers and one from a fluidized bed incinerator. The aims were to identify similarities in Cu and Zn speciation and to identify main species. The combination of several techniques was necessary to draw conclusions about speciation and displayed coherent results. A similar speciation of Cu and Zn was indicated in the five studied grate boiler ashes although the proportions between species may vary. Copper(II) oxide and Cu metal were the main Cu species in all BA. Zinc(II) oxide and willemite (Zn2SiO4) were identified in grate boiler ashes. The fluidized bed ash contained Zn-Si-minerals and possibly franklinite or gahnite, while the Zn(II) oxide content was low, if any. The results have implications for classification and risk assessment of MIBA. (C) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Bottom ash; Copper; Zinc; Speciation; Leaching; EXAFS

Published in

Waste Management
2021, Volume: 119, pages: 389-398

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Soil Science

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