Co-combustion of coal and sewage sludge: Chemical and ecotoxicological properties of ashes

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Abstract

The co-combustion of sewage sludge (SS) and coal is widely used for the treatment and thermal valorization of SS produced in wastewater treatment plants. The chemical and ecotoxicological properties of the ashes produced in this thermal treatment have not been fully studied. Two combustion tests were performed in a fluidized bed combustor. Colombian coal was used as fuel in test A. A blend (1 + 1) of this coal and a stabilized SS (Biogran (R)) was used in a second test B. Samples of the bottom and fly ashes trapped in two sequential cyclones were collected. The characterization of the ashes was focused on two main aspects: (I) the bulk content of a set of metals and (2) the characterization of eluates produced according to the European Standard leaching test EN 12457-2. The eluates were submitted to an ecotoxicological characterization for two bio-indicators. In what concerns the bulk content of ashes, both combustion tests have produced ashes with different compositions. The ashes formed during the co-combustion test have shown higher concentrations of metals, namely Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn and Fe for all ashes. The leaching test has shown low mobility of these elements from the by-products produced during the combustion and co-combustion tests. Cr and Cr(VI) were mainly detected in the eluates of the 1st cyclone ashes produced in both combustion tests and in the 2nd cyclone ashes produced in the co-combustion test. Considering the ecotoxicity assays, the eluates of bottom and fly ashes for both combustion and co-combustion tests have shown low ecotoxic levels. The micro-crustacean Daphnia magna was generally more sensitive than the bacterium Vibrio fischeri. CEMWE criterion has allowed to classify the bottom ashes for both combustion and co-combustion tests as non-toxic residues and the fly ashes collected in both cyclones as toxic. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)902-909
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Volume170
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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