Assessment of heavy metals mobility and correlative recovery and decontamination from MSWI fly ash: Mechanism and hydrometallurgical process evaluation.

Research paper by Jinfeng J Tang, Minhua M Su, Hairong H Peng, Qingpu Q Shi, Diyun D Chen, Nana N Wang, Enzong E Xiao, Lei L Huang, Hongguo H Zhang, Tangfu T Xiao

Indexed on: 17 Jan '21Published on: 17 Jan '21Published in: Science of the Total Environment


Fly ash from municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) enriches many leachable toxic metals which readily migrate into the environment, posing serious risks to the ecosystem and human. In this study, the elements mobility, leaching availability as well as the potential maximum amounts of heavy metals in fly ash were thoroughly evaluated. To decontaminate the toxic elements from resulting fly ash leachates, The aqueous zinc (Zn) was recovered using Cyanex 572, cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu) were effectively removed through adsorption process by a self-assembled hierarchical hydroxyapatite (HAP) nanostructure. The removal mechanism of Cd, Cu and Zn by leaching, extraction and adsorption was revealed with the results from XRD, ICP-MS and SEM. The results showed that fly ash has a high mobility under maximum availability leaching test (95% of fly ash was dissolved), a recovery rate of 91% for Zn can be obtained using Cyanex 572, and a high adsorption rate (> 95% for both Cu and Cd) was reached using HAP for the pristine fly ash leachate. The outcomes from isothermal and kinetic study revealed that Langmuir isotherm and pseudo-second order model can well describe the Cd and Cu adsorption behavior. Economic assessment suggested that the application of HAP for the removal of Cd and Cu is a technically sound and economically feasible approach. The findings of this study demonstrated that this comprehensive process integrated leaching, solvent extraction and consequential decontamination can be a practical strategy for MSWI fly ash treatment. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.