Comparative leaching characteristics of fly/bottom ashes from municipal solid waste incineration under various environmental stresses

  • Ke YinEmail author
  • Xiaomin Dou
  • Wei-Ping ChanEmail author
  • Victor Wei-Chung Chang


With proper leaching tests, health hazards associated with municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) ashes, i.e., incineration bottom ashes (IBA) and incineration fly ashes (IFA), can be quantitatively defined. However, it must be coupled with specific environmental scenarios to draw the proper conclusions. Several environmental stresses based on current management of MSWI ashes were herein simulated with laboratory leaching studies to understand their impacts. The impact of bulk metal recovery on the IBA leaching potential was firstly investigated, suggesting the promoted release for certain metals including those with a relative high content (> 1000 mg/kg) such as Ba, Cu, Pb and Zn. The impact of seawater was also simulated. Most metal release was altered with the new chemistry established. Batch leaching tests were further performed under both salty and acidic environment to understand their aggregated effects, indicating an overwhelming influence from seawater buffering. Lastly, batch leaching tests of the IBA/IFA mixture were performed under various mass ratios, while data were compared with those by their individuals and the theoretical leaching value, unveiling different leaching characteristics during landfill disposal. Hereby, a comprehensive characteristic metal leaching potential was achieved under various ash managements. It provides insights into environmental risks relevant to their current practices.


IBA application Metal recovery Salty environment Mixed disposal TCLP 



Municipal solid waste incineration


Incineration bottom ashes


Incineration fly ashes


Incineration ashes


Toxicity characteristic leaching potential






Municipal solid waste


Metal recovery


Electrostatic precipitator


Air pollution control


Loss on ignition


Total carbon


Total organic carbon


Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer


Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer


Ion chromatography


IBA combination sample made of all collection in 5 months


IBA combination sample made of all collection in 3 months (the 2–4th months)



The authors would like to thank National Environmental Agency, Singapore for financially supporting this work.

Supplementary material

10163_2019_915_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2316 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biology and the EnvironmentNanjing Forestry UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Residue and Resource Reclamation Centre (R3C), Nanyang Environment and Water Research InstituteNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Department of Civil Engineering, 23 College WalkMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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