The subject of this study was the dust collected from an electric arc furnace at an unidentified-waste treatment site in southern Taiwan. The dust underwent an in situ vitrification (ISV) process and was tested using the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP), at the end of which the final product was analyzed for its stability and weather resistance. This study then examined the above results to determine whether the ISV process helps to enhance the efficiency and economic benefits of said waste-treatment site. A TCLP test conducted on the dust that had been treated with ISV revealed that concentrations of various heavy metals were not only far below those of the unprocessed sample dust but also fell below the limit stipulated in the TCLP regulation of Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration. The results show that after undergoing ISV treatment, heavy metals in the dust were either encapsulated or bound in silicon lattices and thus barely leached from the dust. Analyses using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and an energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) indicate that the surface of the dust appeared more compacted after going through the ISV process. In addition, the highly contaminated dust that underwent ISV treatment saw a pronounced decrease in or elimination of wave crests. Another analysis applying X-ray diffraction (XRD) showed that the SiO2
crests disappeared in the processed dust, suggesting that the crystal structure was replaced with quasi-vitreous products after ISV treatment. In the event that pollutants were extant, they were usually characterized by smaller size, high stability, excellent weather resistance, an innocuous nature, and recyclability.
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