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Assessment and Analysis of Waste Treatment and Environmental Management

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "B: Energy and Environment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2022) | Viewed by 18254

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Management and Protection, Faculty of Mining Surveying and Environmental Engineering, AGH University of Science and Technology, 30-059 Krakow, Poland
Interests: environmental engineering; energy from waste; open burning; formation of air pollutants in combustion, incineration and industrial processes; flue gas treatment; air emission measurements; air emission inventory and management; air quality impact assessment; source appointment; air quality management and protection; air pollution monitoring and assessment; atmospheric dispersion modeling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Management and Protection, Faculty of Mining Surveying and Environmental Engineering, AGH University of Science and Technology, 30-059 Krakow, Poland
Interests: waste management; life cycle assessment; circular economy; life cycle assessment of waste management systems; life cycle assessment of waste treatment technologies; open fires of waste; environmental management; urban mining; biofuels from waste
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to its potentially large impact on the environment, the waste management sector is an important element of the environmental management system. Properly selected and conducted waste treatment processes should bring economic benefits at reasonable ecological costs and should be socially acceptable. Depending on the waste treatment technologies, various methods can be used for their evaluation, including e.g. material flow analysis, life cycle assessment, energetic and exergetic assessment, as well as methods used directly in the environmental impact assessment. There may exist also certain market conditions that make recycling or recovery of some waste unprofitable. That can lead to waste of materials and energy or create serious environmental problems as well as it can cause failure of some components of the waste management system. As an example is excessive and improper storage of troublesome waste leading to self-ignition, or even arson, open burning, burning in domestic furnaces or waste disposal in illegal landfills.

This special issue is devoted to the assessment and analysis of various waste treatment methods and entire waste management systems with a particular focus on the environmental impacts.

Topics of interest for publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Waste management system and environmental management;
  • Optimization of operation of waste treatment facilities;
  • Control method for waste treatment installation;
  • Assessment of cumulative energy demand in waste processing;
  • Waste recycling and recovery technologies;
  • Raw materials processing;
  • Waste-to-energy treatment technologies;
  • Production and use of waste-derived fuels;
  • Waste co-processing technologies and their benefits;
  • Self-ignition of landfills, fires or open burning of waste;
  • Pollutant emission factors and environmental risk assessment;
  • Environmental impact or life cycle assessment for waste treatment processes and systems;
  • Environmental pollution caused by waste management facilities;
  • Environmental pollution caused by improper waste management.

Dr. Robert Oleniacz
Prof. Katarzyna Grzesik
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

waste treatment;

waste processing;

waste recovery;

recycling;

waste disposal;

waste incineration;

waste-to-energy plants;

MBT plants;

waste co-processing;

raw materials;

waste-derived fuels;

cumulative energy demand;

landfills;

waste self-ignition;

waste fires;

open burning;

environmental management;

life cycle assessment;

environmental risk assessment;

environmental impact assessment;

environmental pollution;

pollutant emission factors

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 3805 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Temperature Influence on Precipitation of Secondary Sediments during Water Injection into an Absorptive Well
by Piotr Jakubowicz, Teresa Steliga and Katarzyna Wojtowicz
Energies 2022, 15(23), 9130; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15239130 - 02 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1159
Abstract
The extraction of hydrocarbons is associated with obtaining certain amounts of water, which is heavily contaminated with a wide range of chemical compounds that negatively affect the environment. At present, practically the only method of managing extracted reservoir waters is their injection into [...] Read more.
The extraction of hydrocarbons is associated with obtaining certain amounts of water, which is heavily contaminated with a wide range of chemical compounds that negatively affect the environment. At present, practically the only method of managing extracted reservoir waters is their injection into absorbing horizons. Large changes in parameters (pH, Eh, temperature, etc.) occurring during the extraction and storage of water, as well as the contact of the injected water with reservoir water and rock, may result in the precipitation of secondary sediments. The complexity of the injected water/native water/deposit rock system and the wide range of possible interactions do not always allow for correct interpretation of the processes and their impact on near-well zone permeability. One of the factors which has a decisive influence on dissolution/precipitation is temperature change. Applying analytical data of water with low (W-1) and high (W-2) mineralization, calculations were carried out with the use of PRHEEQC software. Changes in solubility index values were determined at ambient temperature (20 °C) and reservoir temperature (94 °C). The obtained results indicate that with increasing temperature, SI changes for a given chemical compound may run in different directions and take different values, depending on the composition of the injected water. The calculations indicate the possibility of a change in the direction of the reaction from dissolution to precipitation, which may lead to clogging of the near-well zone. Simulations of the injected water’s contact with minerals present in the reservoir rock were also carried out. The obtained data indicate that these minerals, in the entire studied temperature range, dissolve in the injected water, but the solubility of anhydrite and dolomite decreases with increasing temperature. If the water is saturated with minerals at low temperature, after heating in the bed, sedimentation and blockage of rock pores may occur, which means there is a reduction in the efficiency of water injection. Full article
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16 pages, 5850 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Immobilization of Fly Ash from the Incineration of Municipal Waste in Cement Mortar Incorporating Nanomaterials—A Case Study
by Monika Czop, Beata Łaźniewska-Piekarczyk and Małgorzata Kajda-Szcześniak
Energies 2022, 15(23), 9050; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15239050 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1195
Abstract
Fly ash generated in the process of combustion of municipal waste is classified as hazardous waste. Its management today has become a significant problem. One of the methods of safe management of such ash may be using it for the production of concrete [...] Read more.
Fly ash generated in the process of combustion of municipal waste is classified as hazardous waste. Its management today has become a significant problem. One of the methods of safe management of such ash may be using it for the production of concrete as a partial replacement for cement. Using immobilization, the number of hazardous compounds could be limited so that the obtained new material would be safe for the natural environment. Recovery of byproducts—in this case, fly ash—complies with the business models applied in the production cycle in the circular economy model. Such a solution may result in saving energy, limiting CO2 emissions, reducing the use of natural resources, and management of dangerous waste. It should be added that concretes with the addition of hazardous waste would be used for industrial purposes according to the binding legal regulations. This article presents the influence of the addition of fly ash on the selected mechanical properties of concrete. Fly ash from the incineration of municipal waste was used as a partial replacement of CEM I concrete at amounts of 4%, 8%, and 18% of its mass. The compressive strength and flexural strength of such concretes were tested after 28 days of concrete curing. This article also presents the tests of the leachability of contaminants from fly ash and concretes produced with Portland cement CEM I. The test results confirm that immobilization is an effective process that limits the amount of contamination in the water extract. Zinc, lead, and chrome were almost completely immobilized by the C-S-H (calcium silicate hydrate) concrete phase, with their immobilization degree exceeding 99%. Chloride content also underwent immobilization at a similar level of 99%. The sulfates were immobilized at the level of 96%. The subject matter discussed in this article is essential because, to protect the natural environment and, thus, reduce the use of natural resources, it is increasingly necessary to reuse raw materials—not natural, but recycled from the industry. Waste often contains hazardous compounds. A proposal for their safe disposal is their immobilization in a cement matrix. An important aspect is reducing leachability from concrete as much as possible, e.g., using nanomaterials. The effectiveness of reducing the leachability of hazardous compounds with the proposed method was checked in this study. Full article
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14 pages, 1768 KiB  
Article
Effect of Filter Medium on Water Quality during Passive Biofilter Activation in a Recirculating Aquaculture System for Oncorhynchus mykiss
by Arkadiusz Nędzarek, Małgorzata Bonisławska, Agnieszka Tórz, Adam Tański and Krzysztof Formicki
Energies 2022, 15(19), 6890; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15196890 - 20 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1328
Abstract
High-performance biofilters for water purification in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) ensure the safety of cultures of highly nutritious fish. As the most critical step in the functioning of biofilters is their activation, the objective of this study was to evaluate the suitability of [...] Read more.
High-performance biofilters for water purification in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) ensure the safety of cultures of highly nutritious fish. As the most critical step in the functioning of biofilters is their activation, the objective of this study was to evaluate the suitability of commercial artificial media, namely RK Plast (BR-1), Mutag-BioChip30 (BR-2), and LevaPor (BR-3), for the passive activation of biofilters used in rainbow trout farming. Changes in NH4+-N, NO2-N, NO3 -N, phosphorus, and carbon concentrations were analyzed. In the first period, an increase in NH4+-N concentration was recorded, before an increase in NO2-N concentration (maximum concentrations ranged 0.728–1.290 and 0.982–5.198 mg N dm−3, respectively), followed by a reduction and stabilization to a level safe for the fish (both below 0.100 mg N dm−3). Concurrently, a steady increase in NO3-N concentration was noted, with a maximum concentration between 6.521 and 7.326 mg N dm−3. Total phosphorus and total carbon ranged from 0.423 to 0.548 mg P dm−3, and from 43.8 to 45.2 mg C dm−3. The study confirmed the feasibility of using the tested artificial biofilter media for rainbow trout farming in RAS with passive biofilter activation. Biofilter activation efficiency was highest for the media with the highest specific surface area (BR-2 and BR-3). The removal of ammonium nitrogen and nitrite nitrogen was above 90%. Nitrogen biotransformation was not limited by phosphorus or carbon concentrations. Full article
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17 pages, 3167 KiB  
Article
Synoptic Risk Assessment of Groundwater Contamination from Landfills
by Sonja Cerar, Luka Serianz, Katja Koren, Joerg Prestor and Nina Mali
Energies 2022, 15(14), 5150; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15145150 - 15 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1423
Abstract
Waste management in Europe has improved in recent years, reducing the amount of waste disposed at landfills. However, there are still many landfills in the countries. It is well known that landfills that do not have measures in place to control leachate entering [...] Read more.
Waste management in Europe has improved in recent years, reducing the amount of waste disposed at landfills. However, there are still many landfills in the countries. It is well known that landfills that do not have measures in place to control leachate entering groundwater can contaminate groundwater long after the landfill is closed. Collecting monitoring results from all landfills allows permitting and management agencies to improve action plans. This relies on a synoptic risk assessment that allows prioritization and milestones to be set for required actions. The developed method of synoptic risk assessment is based on a conceptual model of the landfill and the results of chemical groundwater monitoring tested at 69 landfills in Slovenia. The study confirms that most landfills have a direct or indirect impact on groundwater quality. All landfills were classified into three priority classes on the basis of the synoptic risk assessment. The results show that a total of 24 landfills have a clearly pronounced impact on groundwater. A total of 31 landfills have a less pronounced impact due to the favorable natural attenuation capacity of the soil or the technically appropriate design of the landfill itself. A total of 14 landfills have a less pronounced or negligible impact on groundwater. Full article
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10 pages, 1720 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Dioxins and Heavy Metals in Chelated Fly Ash
by Shuping Pan, Qi Yao, Wenxiang Cai, Yaqi Peng, Yuhao Luo, Zhizhen Wang, Caiping Jiang, Xiaodong Li and Shengyong Lu
Energies 2022, 15(13), 4868; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15134868 - 02 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1312
Abstract
Municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) fly ash contains highly toxic heavy metals and polychlorinated dibenzo dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs), which are a type of hazardous waste. The pollution characteristics of fly ash have changed with the development of stoker grate incinerators and the fly ash [...] Read more.
Municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) fly ash contains highly toxic heavy metals and polychlorinated dibenzo dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs), which are a type of hazardous waste. The pollution characteristics of fly ash have changed with the development of stoker grate incinerators and the fly ash treatment technology; however, no research has been focused on this in recent years. In this study, 12 fly ash samples were collected from 9 grate power plants in southeastern China, and their PCDD/Fs and heavy metal concentrations were determined and compared to previous fly ash data. The PCDD/Fs concentration in fly ash was in the range of 0.002–0.051 ngI-TEQ/g, with an average of 0.027 ngI-TEQ/g. Furthermore, 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDD and OCDD made the most significant contributions to PCDDs. The distribution of 10 dioxins exhibited bimodal, unimodal, and normal characteristics. Linear fitting demonstrated a strong correlation between toxicity and 1,2,3,7,8-PentaCDD, 1,2,3,7,8-PentaCDF, and 2,3,4,7,8-PentaCDF. Concerning heavy metals, Pb poses a significant environmental risk. This is the first time that fly ash treated with a chelating agent has been thoroughly analyzed, which is vital for understanding the pollution level and treatment of fly ash derived from current power plants. Full article
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13 pages, 772 KiB  
Article
Strategic Environmental Assessment as a Support in a Sustainable National Waste Management Program—European Experience in Serbia
by Boško Josimović, Božidar Manić and Nikola Krunić
Energies 2022, 15(13), 4568; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15134568 - 22 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1404
Abstract
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is one of the most important instruments for directing the strategic planning process toward the sustainable development goals in various areas of human activity. This also applies to the field of waste management. By applying SEA in waste management [...] Read more.
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is one of the most important instruments for directing the strategic planning process toward the sustainable development goals in various areas of human activity. This also applies to the field of waste management. By applying SEA in waste management planning, it is possible to see the benefits and consequences of the proposed changes in space that will occur during the implementation of strategic planning concepts and based on that make appropriate decisions respecting the capacity of the space where the planned activities are implemented. The paper presents the application of SEA for the National Waste Management Program with all its spatial, organizational, energy, environmental, and other solutions, and the way they are included in the specific method of multicriteria evaluation in SEA. The specificity of the methodological approach indicates the need for equal consideration of environmental and socio-economic aspects of development and a clear presentation of the results obtained in order to make optimal decisions in waste management planning at the national level. The National Waste Management Program in Serbia, which legislation in the field of environmental protection and waste management is harmonized with EU legislation and directives, was chosen for the case study. The obtained results indicate the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in the evaluation of strategic solutions in the field of waste management, which is achieved by specific choice of environmental and socio-economic SEA goals and indicators as a basis for valorization of the proposed concept of waste management. Full article
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19 pages, 2335 KiB  
Article
Immobilization of Zn and Cu in Conditions of Reduced C/N Ratio during Sewage Sludge Composting Process
by Aleksandra Leśniańska, Beata Janowska and Robert Sidełko
Energies 2022, 15(12), 4507; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15124507 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1417
Abstract
In this paper we present results of research on the transformation of chemical forms of two elements (Cu, Zn) that occurred at the highest concentration in sewage sludge being processed in a composting process. The factor that had impact on the direction of [...] Read more.
In this paper we present results of research on the transformation of chemical forms of two elements (Cu, Zn) that occurred at the highest concentration in sewage sludge being processed in a composting process. The factor that had impact on the direction of the observed transformation was the amount of straw added to the mix with sewage sludge at the batch preparation stage including elimination of an additional source of organic carbon (straw). The analysis of contents of Cu and Zn chemical forms was performed applying Tessiere’s methodology. It was ascertained that reduction of supplementation has positive impact on the allocation of tested elements in organic (IV) and residual (V) fractions with a simultaneous decrease of heavy metals mobile forms share in bioavailable fractions, mostly ion exchangeable (I) and carbonate (II). Using an artificial neural network (ANN), a tool was developed to classify composts based on Austrian standards taking into account only I ÷ IV fractions treated as a labile, potentially bioavailable, part of heavy metals bound in various chemical forms in compost. The independent variables that were predictors in the ANN model were the composting time, C/N, and total content of the given element (total Cu, Zn). The sensitivity coefficients for three applied predictors varied around 1, which proves their significant impact on the final result. Correctness of the predictions of the generated network featuring an MLP 3-5-3 structure for the test set was 100%. Full article
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11 pages, 902 KiB  
Article
Determining the Effectiveness of Street Cleaning with the Use of Decision Analysis and Research on the Reduction in Chloride in Waste
by Anna Gronba-Chyła, Agnieszka Generowicz, Paweł Kwaśnicki, Dawid Cycoń, Justyna Kwaśny, Katarzyna Grąz, Krzysztof Gaska and Józef Ciuła
Energies 2022, 15(10), 3538; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15103538 - 12 May 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1678
Abstract
Waste from street cleaning is usually of a fine fraction below 10 mm and varies greatly in both quantity and composition. It may be composed of chlorides, especially for that resulting during winter due to the use of street de-icing agents. Chlorides can [...] Read more.
Waste from street cleaning is usually of a fine fraction below 10 mm and varies greatly in both quantity and composition. It may be composed of chlorides, especially for that resulting during winter due to the use of street de-icing agents. Chlorides can cause the salinization of surface water and groundwater, and the salinization of soils, which in turn lead to the deterioration of water purity and a decrease in biodiversity of aquatic organisms, changes in microbiological structure, and increases in toxicity of metals. Therefore, it is very important to determine the level of salinity in stored waste and its impact on the environment. The present study was conducted in a city of about 55,000 inhabitants. The highest chloride concentrations were observed after winter in waste from street and sidewalk cleaning around the sewer gullies, amounting to 1468 mg/dm3. The lowest chloride concentration in this waste occurred in summer and amounted to 35 mg/dm3. The multi-criteria analysis indicated that the most beneficial form of street cleaning and, thus, of reductions in chloride concentration in the waste from street cleaning, would be sweeping and daily washing. The objective of this research was to determine the amount of chlorides in sweepings on an annual basis in order to determine the potential risks associated with their impact on select aspects of the environment and to evaluate the frequency of necessary cleaning for city streets, considering the effects. The methodology used was a multi-criteria evaluation, which as a decision analysis, allowed us to determine the frequency of cleaning and washing of streets, in such a way that an ecological effect is achieved with simultaneous economic efficiency. Full article
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15 pages, 3365 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Ash Silanization on the Selected Properties of Rigid Polyurethane Foam/Coal Fly Ash Composites
by Beata Zygmunt-Kowalska, Kinga Pielichowska, Patrycja Trestka, Magdalena Ziąbka and Monika Kuźnia
Energies 2022, 15(6), 2014; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15062014 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1789
Abstract
According to the assumptions of the European Union, by 2050 it is planned to achieve climate neutrality. For this purpose, a document called the “European Green Deal” was established, which is a set of policies of the European Commission. One of the assumptions [...] Read more.
According to the assumptions of the European Union, by 2050 it is planned to achieve climate neutrality. For this purpose, a document called the “European Green Deal” was established, which is a set of policies of the European Commission. One of the assumptions is a circular economy that takes into account the use of waste in subsequent production cycles. In order to meet the latest trends in environmentally friendly materials and use of waste in the production of building materials, composites of rigid polyurethane foam with 10 wt.% of waste were produced. Fly ash from coal combustion after modification was used as a filler. Three types of modifications were used: silanization, sieving, and both processes together. The silanization process was carried out for 1 and 2% silane ([3-(2-aminoethylamino)propyl]trimethoxysilane) concentration in relation to the fly ash mass. The sieving was aimed at reaching a fraction with a particle diameter below 75 µm. Six composites with modified fillers were compared and one material containing unchanged fly ash was used as a reference. A comparative analysis was carried out on the basis of surface analysis, thermal stability and physical properties. It turned out that the polyurethane materials modified fly ash silanized with 1% and 2% silane solution proved the best results in performed tests. On the other hand, the polyurethane foam containing sieved ash was characterized by the lowest flammability and the lowest emission of smoke and CO. The use of modified fly ash in technology of polyurethane foams can be a good method of its disposal and can increase the applicability of the composites. Full article
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9 pages, 1481 KiB  
Article
The Biological Drying of Municipal Waste in an Industrial Reactor—A Case Study
by Jolanta Latosińska, Maria Żygadło and Marlena Dębicka
Energies 2022, 15(3), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15031039 - 30 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2672
Abstract
One of the methods of municipal solid waste (MSW) treatment is biodrying. The literature describes mainly the results obtained in a laboratory- and a pilot-scale reactor. The manuscript presents the results of MSW treatment in a full-scale bio-drying reactor (150 m3). [...] Read more.
One of the methods of municipal solid waste (MSW) treatment is biodrying. The literature describes mainly the results obtained in a laboratory- and a pilot-scale reactor. The manuscript presents the results of MSW treatment in a full-scale bio-drying reactor (150 m3). The reactor is operated in one of the Polish installations specializing in mechanical-biological treatment (MBT). During the 14 day period of biodrying in the reactor, the parameters of MSW such as the moisture, temperature, loss on ignition (LOI), and net heating value (NHV) were examined. The temperature of the air in the reactor was also examined. The research also included changes in the above-mentioned parameters of MSW located in three parts of the reactor: the front, middle, and back. The test results showed that the moisture content of the waste decreased from the initial level of 55% to the level of 30%. This was accompanied by an increase in the NHV from 6.3 MJ kg−1 to 9.6 MJ kg−1. At the same time, the LOI decreased from 68% d.m. to 45% d.m. The LOI decrease is not favorable from the point of view of using MSW as refuse-derived fuel (RDF), as was expected in the final usage stage. The results have application value as the plant operator, having at their disposal the controlling of the reactor’s ventilation and the temperature inside the reactor, should select the speed of the moisture removal from MSW at such a level as to minimize the LOI decrease. Full article
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15 pages, 1402 KiB  
Article
Fly Ash as an Ingredient in the Contaminated Soil Stabilization Process
by Kamil Banaszkiewicz, Tadeusz Marcinkowski and Iwona Pasiecznik
Energies 2022, 15(2), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15020565 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1565
Abstract
Fly ash is the main by-product of coal combustion characterized by a large specific surface area. In addition to oxides, it also contains unburned coal and trace elements. This study aimed to investigate the possibility of using fly ash from pit-coal combustion (CFA) [...] Read more.
Fly ash is the main by-product of coal combustion characterized by a large specific surface area. In addition to oxides, it also contains unburned coal and trace elements. This study aimed to investigate the possibility of using fly ash from pit-coal combustion (CFA) for the treatment of benzene-contaminated soil (S). The CFA was used as a mixture with Portland cement (PC) (70% PC + 30% CFA). The soil was treated with a PC-CFA mixture in amounts of 40, 60, and 80% of soil mass. During the process, the concentration of benzene was monitored with the flame-ionization detector. Produced monoliths (S+(PC-CFA)x) were tested for compressive strength and capillary water absorption. The experiment confirmed that the PC-CFA mixture limited benzene emission. The highest reduction in benzene concentration (34–39%) was observed for samples treated with the PC-CFA mixture in an amount of 80% (S+(PC-CFA)80). The average compressive strength of monoliths S+(PC-CFA)40, S+(PC-CFA)60, and S+(PC-CFA)80 was 0.57, 4.53, and 6.79 MPa, respectively. The water absorption values were in the range of 15–22% dm. Full article
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