A novel and sustainable technique to immobilize lead and zinc in MSW incineration fly ash by using pozzolanic bottom ash

Mitali Nag, Takayuki Shimaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Fly ash (FA) generated from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) incineration contains high leaching potential of toxic metals. Calcium silicate hydrate (C–S–H) is the main hydration product of cement and can immobilize the leaching of toxic metals, formed by the reaction of Ca with pozzolanic Si in a highly alkaline environment. Toxic metals can be immobilized by the addition of pozzolan to FA residues (in lieu of cement), which is a source of Ca and provides an alkaline condition. The current study proposed a new approach of reusing the fine-fraction of MSW incineration bottom ash (BA), which contains amorphous silica, known as pozzolan for immobilization of lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) in FA. The dissolved amorphous silica and alumina emerged from the BA, with available Ca ions and in an extremely alkaline condition owing by FA, stimulate the pozzolanic reaction, resulting the formation of cementitious compounds of C–S–H gel and calcium aluminate hydrates (C-A-H) that can immobilize the heavy metals leaching from FA. The existence of calcium hydroxide promotes the carbonation process, reducing pH, and consequently immobilizing heavy metals. The method involves the simple mixing of BA and FA with water. The mixture was settled for 1, 4, 16, and 30 days at room temperature and annealed (120 °C) conditions. The leaching concentrations of Pb and Zn significantly reduced in the stabilized FA samples followed by standard Japanese leaching test (JLT- 46). Pb stabilization efficiency was reached >99.9% after 16-days of settling periods with 10% dosage of BA at room temperature. The added BA to FA residues reacted with Ca(OH)2 and CaClOH produced the C–S–H gel. pH, XRD, and SEM-EDX analyses evaluated the carbonation and pozzolanic reactions that promoted the immobilization of Pb and Zn. Immobilization of heavy metals by using fine-fraction of BA seems to be very effective and technically feasible. The technology can save original material, produce inert material and avoids landfilling of incineration residues. More advanced and detailed experiments have been designed to promote the optimization of the proposed technology for application in industries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117036
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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