Bottom ash is the major by-product of waste incineration and can contain trace elements (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Cr, Mo, Ni, Pb, and Zn) with concentrations up to thousands of mg·k−1
. In this study, a combination of different extractions and leaching tests (i.e., CH3
COOH and ammonium-EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) extractions and pHstat
leaching tests) was used to investigate the potential release of trace elements from bottom ash samples derived from hazardous waste incineration plants. Although large variations have been found in the release of trace elements by different extractions, in general, the highest concentrations of most trace elements (except As and Mo) were released with the CH3
COOH extraction, whereas the release of As and Mo was highest with the ammonium-EDTA extraction. Kinetics of element release upon acidification based on a pHstat
leaching test at pH 4 could be related to the solid-phase speciation of some selected trace elements. The relatively high-potential mobility and elevated total concentrations of some trace elements imply a threat to the environment if these bottom ashes are not treated properly. Results of the present study may be useful to develop potential treatment strategies to remove contaminants and eventually recover metals from bottom ash.
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