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Life cycle assessment of alternative processes to treat fly ash from waste incineration

Abstract: Unsustainable consumption and production patterns, together with industrialization and population growth, have increased the generation of municipal solid waste (MSW), causing several environmental problems. The European Waste Framework Directive (WFD) sets waste prevention, preparation for reuse and recycling as priority strategies. Nevertheless, still a great amount of MSW ends up in landfills and waste-to-energy (WtE) plants. WtE plants reduces waste volume and allows efficient recovery of energy, however, incineration results in various types of solid wastes, bottom, boiler and fly ashes (FA). Due to the concentration of dangerous substances, FA are treated by means of stabilisation/solidification (S/S), thermal treatments or combined treatments, to reduce their toxicity and to avoid negative impacts on the environment and human health. Among S/S alternatives, stabilisation with cement and carbonation are one of the most popular. To determine the environmental performance of these processes this paper conducted a life cycle assessment (LCA). The study evaluated FA stabilisation with cement and water and FA carbonation for 55 % and 100 % excess of CO2 in the flue gas at the outlet of the reactor, and pressures of 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 bar. The results showed that the range of pressure between 3 and 4 bar, and 55 % excess of CO2 in the flue gas have an efficient performance. The comparison of FA carbonation and stabilization displayed that the latter has higher impacts than the alternative carbonation due mainly to the cement production and the reduction of lixiviation and CO2 capture in the ash.

Other conference communications or articles related to authors from the University of Cantabria

 Authorship: Margallo M., Cobo S., Muñoz E., Fernández A., Santos E., Dominguez-Ramos A., Aldaco R., Irabien Á.,

 Congress: Conference on Process Integration, Modelling and Optimisation for Energy Saving and Pollution Reduction: PRES (21ª : 2018 : Praga)

 Publisher: AIDIC

 Year of publication: 2018

 No. of pages: 6

 Publication type: Conference object

 DOI: 10.3303/CET1870148

 ISSN: 1974-9791,2283-9216