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A Study on Removal of Water-Soluble Chloride from Incinerator Bottom Ash

H. J. Wu*, T.W. Cheng**, Y.C. Ding***

* Graduate student, Institute Mineral Resources Engineering, National Taipei University of Technology, ** Professor, Institute Mineral Resources Engineering, National Taipei University of Technology, *** Associate Professor, Institute Mineral Resources Engineering, National Taipei University of Technology,

Abstract Bottom ash is the main waste from municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI). Because the properties of bottom ash are similar to the natural aggregates, it can be reused as the raw material for reinforced concrete. However, bottom ash contains large amount of water-soluble chloride that will cause corrosion on steel bar inside the reinforced concrete and thus reduces its strength. To comply with the official announcement by Environmental Protection Administration of Taiwan, the quality standard regulation designate that the water-soluble chloride content in bottom ash should down to 0.024% (w/w). In this study, only small amount of water was needed to remove the water-soluble chloride on bottom ash surface, a high solid/water ratio attrition scrubbing method followed by water-washing was used to remove water-soluble chloride. After 60-min of soaking and attrition scrubbing with the L/S ratio of 2 for 5 minutes twice, the water-soluble chloride content in the bottom ash can be reduced to 0.0187 wt.% and meet the requirement level for reinforced concrete application. Keywords: bottom ash, water-soluble chloride, scrubbing, reinforced concrete

1. Introduction

In Taiwan, the primary way to treat municipal solid waste is by incineration process, which can reduce the waste mass as well as the volume efficiently [1], and also to recover energy from the waste [2]. During incineration, most waste is converted to combustion residues such as bottom ash and fly ash. According to the statistics of Environmental Protection Administration for 2010, 980,000 tons of the bottom ash was produced annually. For the application of using bottom ash as raw material for construction, many research works have been conducted recently. However, the bottom ash that contains large amount of water-soluble chloride is the main problem for reutilization and will cause corrosion of the steel bar inside the reinforced concrete, and thus reduce its strength [3]. According to Chinese National Standards (CNS 1240), the content of water-soluble chloride in concrete should be less

than 0.024 wt.%. According to literature reviewed, the primary method to reduce chloride content in bottom ash is through washing process [4] that needs large amount of water. In this study, an attrition scrubbing method was proposed to remove chloride on bottom ash. Attrition scrubbing is a mineral processing method [5-6] generally used to remove the clay or silts that are more tightly bound to the silica grains, or to wash off iron oxide attached on the sand surface. In this study, bottom ash was introduced to an attrition-scrubbing unit for chloride removing. The solid percentage of the slurry should be kept as high as possible to ensure close particle-to-particle

contact, and thus the water-soluble chloride can then be removed from the bottom ash surface effectively.

2. Experimental methods
2.1 Material Bottom ash (hereafter referred to as the SBA) which separated by a sieve was obtained from a incineration bottom ash treatment plant located at southern Taiwan. The chemical composition of SBA is given in Table 1. The particle size distribution of SBA is shown in Fig. 1. The D50 of SBA is around 2.3 mm. Table 1 The chemical composition of SBA Composition SBA Composition SBA (wt.%) (wt.%) SiO2 Al2O3 CaO Fe2O3 K2O CuO
40 35 30

mins at 1200 rpm, SBA and water was then separated by filtration. The water-soluble chloride ion left in SBA was then measured by titration method (refer to CNS 13407 standard test method), and the crystal phase of SBA was analyzed by using XRD.

3. Results and discussion

3-1 Lab-scale scrubber 3-1-1 Effects of soaking before attrition scrubbing Fig. 2 shows the effect of scrubbing with different soaking time. It can be seen that soaking has great affect on reducing water-soluble chloride content. The containing chloride on SBA was reduced from 0.1% to 0.044% as increasing soaking time to 60 min. Once conducted attrition scrubbing after 60 min water soaking, the containing chloride on SBA can be additional reduced to 0.03%. Therefore, before attrition scrubbing process, SBA will soak in water for 60 minutes in further experiments. 3-1-2 Effects of attrition scrubbing with different L/S ratio The ratio of L/S is an important parameter in attrition scrubbing because it may greatly affect the probability of collision between particles during scrubbing. Fig. 3 shows the effect of chloride scrubbing with various L/S ratios. It can be seen that chloride content in SBA decreased as increasing the ratios of L/S. After chloride content reached the lowest of 0.0245%, it bounced back up by further increasing L/S ratio. It is probably due to the higher water content that reduces the chance of collision between suspended particles.
11 10 Soaking only After scrubbing(LS2/5, L-Scrubber) with soaking

47.5 6.4 21.8 12.0 1.7 1.8

TiO2 Cr2O3 MnO2 ZnO PbO Water-soluble Cl

2.2 0.1 0.3 1.1 0.2 0.1

Weight percentage (%)

25 20 15 10 5 0 ~0.15 0.15~0.3 0.3~0.6 0.6~1.18 1.18~2.36 2.36~4.75 4.75~9.5

SBA chloride content (x10 wt.%)

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Particle distribution (mm)

Fig.1 Particle size distribution of SBA 2.2 Methods In this study, two types of attrition scrubber were used, which are (1) lab-scale and (2) pilot-scale. Lab-scale attrition scrubber was firstly used to determine the optimum operating parameters, such as liquid/solid (L/S) ratio, scrubbing time and agitation speeds. These operating parameters acquired can then be used for the following pilot-scale scrubbing process. The attrition scrubbing process is described as follows: The attrition speed was first set at 1200 rpm. SBA was mixed with water and soaking for 60 minutes. After scrubbing for ???


Soaking time (mins)

Fig. 2 Effect of scrubbing with soaking

3.3 3.2

Agitation speed=1200 RPM Scrubbing time=5 mins

0.024%. Therefore, series scrubbing is considered to be a better way to reduce chloride content in SBA.
3.2 2.8

SBA chloride content (x10 wt.%)

3.1 3.0 2.9


Agitation speed=1200 RPM

SBA chloride content (x10 wt.%)

2.8 2.7 2.6 2.5 2.4 2.3 2.2 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0

2.4 2.0 1.6 1.2 0.8 0.4 0.0


Fig. 3 Effect of scrubbing with L/S ratio

4.4 4.0 3.6 3.2 2.8 2.4 2.0 0 2 4 6 8 10 Liquid/Solid=2 Agitation speed=1200RPM


(1) LS2/5+LS2/5

(2) LS1/5+LS1/5

(3) LS1/5+LS2/5

(4) LS1/10+LS2/5


SBA chloride content (x10 wt.%)

Fig. 5 Effect of attrition scrubbing with series scrubbing 3-2 Pilot-scale attrition scrubber The operational parameters of pilot-scale attrition scrubber were based on above results shown in Table 2. Due to the maximum agitation speed for pilot-scale scrubber is 500 rpm, therefore, the scrubbing time for pilot-scale scrubber should be increased for better scrubbing result. Table 2 Optimum parameters of lab-scale scrubber Lab-scale L/S Scrubbing Series scrubber time scrubbing Optimum parameters 2 10 min Series 1 (LS2/5+ LS2/5)


Scrubbing time (mins)

Fig. 4 Effect of scrubbing with scrubbing time 3-1-3 Effects of attrition scrubbing with scrubbing time The effect of attrition scrubbing with different scrubbing time is shown in Fig. 4. Chloride content in SBA decreased along with increasing scrubbing time, due to more particles collision occurs for long retention time. 3-1-4 Effects of attrition scrubbing with series scrubbing From above experimental results obtained, it is obviously that a single attrition scrubbing process can not reduced the chloride content to the required level of less than 0.024%. Therefore, a series of attrition scrubbing process need to be conducted. Fig. 5 shows the effect of attrition scrubbing with various scrubbing combination. It can be seen that series 1 with L/S ratio of 2 for 5 min twice has the lowest chloride content of 0.0187% in SBA. Others, such as attrition scrubbed at L/S ratio of 1 for 5 min followed by scrubbing at L/S ratio 2 for 5 min, or attrition scrubbed at L/S ratio of 1 for 10 min followed by scrubbing at L/S ratio 2 for 5 min can also meet the requirement listed in Chinese National Standards, i.e. <

The results obtained from attrition scrubbing with pilotscale scrubber are given in Fig. 6. The chloride content in SBA after scrubbing at L/S ratio of 1 and 2 for 35 min are 0.0247 and 0.0223%, respectively. It can be seen that the attrition scrubbing with the pilot-scale scrubber was far more effective than lab-scale scrubber. It is believed to be due to the length of Impellers in pilot-scale scrubber are bigger than lab-scale machine which can generate higher shear force. The strength of collision between particles can then be increased, and thus, provide a more efficient way to remove chloride in SBA.

2.8 2.6 S

C (a) SBA C C C C S

C:Calcite S:Quartz

SBA chloride content (x10 wt.%)


2.4 2.2 2.0 1.8 1.6 1.4 LS1/35 LS2/35 S S S S


(b) Fine particle on liquid surface after scrubbing C C C C C C


(c) SBA after scrubbing (LS2/35, Pilot-Scrubber) SS S S S 30 40 S 50 S 60 S 70 80 90





Fig. 6 Effect of scrubbing with pilot-scale scrubber Fig. 7 shows the particle size distribution of SBA after attrition scrubbing. By comparing the tests result with those shown in Fig. 1, it is clear that the size of SBA particles became smaller after scrubbing process. This can be attributed to the fact that part of chloride attached on the SBA surface or hidden in the pores of SBA be removed through collision action.

Fig. 8 XRD patterns of SBA after scrubbing

4. Conclusion
In order to recycle bottom ash and reuse as raw material for reinforced concrete, the removal of chloride attached on SBA was investigated. According to the test results obtained in this research, attrition scrubbing with pilot-scale scrubber was found more effective than lab-scale attrition scrubber because it could achieve the of required chloride content with less water treatment. The attrition scrubbing process was found to be a effective method that could remove water-soluble chloride in SBA. For further more extensive tests, it is believed to have good potential to treat SBA for reinforced concrete application.

LS2/35, Pilot-scale scruber

35 30

Weight percentage (%)

25 20 15 10 5 0 ~0.15 0.15~0.3 0.3~0.6 0.6~1.18 1.18~2.36 2.36~4.75 4.75~9.5

The National Science Council of ROC supported this study under contract NSC-99-2221-E-027-031, which was gratefully acknowledged.

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Particle distribution (mm)

Fig. 7 Particle size distribution of SBA after attrition scrubbing The XRD patterns of SBA obtained before and after the scrubbing process are shown in Fig. 8. It can be seen that original SBA containing quartz and calcite due to the CO2 carbonation on the surface of SBA before separating. After attrition scrubbing, the SBA surface was cleaned with only quartz phase can be found (Fig. 8c). The major phase for fine particles in liquid after scrubbing was found to be calcite. This implies that fine particles attached on surface of SBA can be removed by attrition scrubbing process, and thus reduce its chloride content.

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