Behaviour, capture and inertization of some trace elements during combustion of refuse-derived char from municipal solid waste

S. V. Vassilev, C. Braekman-Danheux, Ph Laurent, T. Thiemann, A. Fontana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


An investigation of refuse-derived char (RDC) generated by thermolysis of municipal solid waste (MSW) was undertaken to elucidate the behaviour of some toxic and potentially toxic trace elements (Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Zn) plus Fe during combustion of RDC. About 87% of Sb, 66% of Pb, 60% of Cu and significant parts of Fe>Zn>Ni>Mn>Cr from the RDC are volatile at 1200 °C, and their behaviour in the temperature interval 500-1200 °C is characterized. The use of sorbents (zeolite, kaolinite, montmorillonite, coals enriched in kaolinite and calcite, and lime plus portlandite) for capture, solidification and inertization of the most volatile elements during combustion of RDC is also described. Perspective sorbents and inertants for a retention of the most volatile Pb, Sb and Cu in RDC ash are kaolinite and montmorillonite or coals enriched in these minerals. In addition, when there is an effective RDC washing (dechlorination and desulphurization), the use of sorbents for capture of some metals could be reduced or even avoided. Recommendations are given for RDC utilization and improvisation of the collection, separation procedures and removal efficiency of some heavy-metal, chloride and sulphate compounds from MSW and RDC prior to their use. The results show that a long-term strategy based on detailed understanding of the source, formation, behaviour and fate of the elements and their modes of occurrence in MSW, RDC and combustion waste residues is required in order to validate a perspective waste pyrolytic processes development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1145
Number of pages15
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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