Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 115–125 | Cite as

Leaching of Metals from Incineration Bottom Ash Using Organic Acid

  • Umesh U. JadhavEmail author
  • Basanta Kumar Biswal
  • Zhitao Chen
  • En-Hua Yang
  • Hong Hocheng
Research Article


The municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash (IBA) is increasingly used as a secondary resource for civil engineering and various other applications. IBA contains various metals. The presence of these metals may limit the use of IBA as a secondary resource. This can be overcome by removing metals from IBA. This study focused on determination of metal contents of IBA and leaching of these metals. The results show that calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), aluminum (Al), silicon (Si), and sodium (Na) are the major metals present in IBA. Many other metals ranging from magnesium (Mg) to mercury (Hg) were also present in varying quantities. In the present study, four organic acids, namely, citric, malic, oxalic, and gluconic acids have been used to compare the metal leaching from IBA. The citric acid was found to be the most effective leaching agent. Various process parameters for metal leaching were optimized. It was found that the maximum metal leaching was achieved in 48 h. The 1 M citric acid, 100 mL working volume, 150 rpm, and 30 °C were the optimal conditions to leach 100 wt% Si, Na, Au, Sb, respectively. Around 99 wt% Mg, 95 wt% K, 93 wt% Cd, 88 wt% Al, 84 wt% Ca, 80 wt% Fe, 79 wt% Sr, 77 wt% Pb, Zn, As respectively, 67 wt% Cu, V, Ag respectively, 66 wt% Mn, 64 wt% Co, 56 wt% Cr, 43 wt% Ni, Sn respectively, 40 wt% Se, 21 wt% Ba, 10 wt% Hg were leached using citric acid at optimal conditions. The leaching efficiency decreased with increasing pulp density. An optimal pulp density for metal leaching was observed at 1% (w/v). The method described in the present study provides an alternative environmentally friendly process to remove metals from IBA. This will facilitate the recycling of metal-free IBA for geotechnical applications.


Municipal solid waste Incineration bottom ash Hydrometallurgy Citric acid Metal leaching 



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from the Environment Technology Research Program (ETRP), the National Environment Agency, Singapore (ETRP Nos. 1301 104).


  1. 1.
    Yang E, Liu Y, Chen Z (2015) Environmental Sustainability through recycling incineration bottom ash for the production of autoclaved aerated concrete. Key Eng Mater 650:51–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Xu T, Ting Y (2004) Optimisation on bioleaching of incinerator fly ash by Aspergillus niger-use of central composite design. Enzym Microb Technol 35:444–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hong K, Tokunaga S, Ishigami Y, Kajuichi T (2000) Extraction of heavy metals from MSW incinerator fly ash using saponins. Chemosphere 41:345–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Song Y, Li B, Yang E, Liu Y, Tian D (2015) Feasibility study on utilization of municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash as aerating agent for the production of autoclaved aerated concrete. Cement Concr Compos 56:51–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Song Y, Li B, Yang E, Liu Y, Chen Z (2016) Gas generation from incinerator bottom ash: potential aerating agent for lightweight concrete production. J Mater Civ Eng 28(7):04016030CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zhang H, He P, Shao L, Li X (2008) Leaching behaviour of heavy metals from municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash and its geochemical modelling. Mater Cycles Waste Manag 10:7–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ferreira C, Ribeiro A, Ottosen L (2003) Possible applications for municipal solid waste fly ash. J Hazard Mater 96:201–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Muchova L, Rem P (2007) Wet or dry separation; management of bottom ash in Europe. Waste Manag World 11:46–49Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chimenos J, Segarra M, Fernandez M, Espiell F (1999) Characterization of the bottom ash in municipal solid waste incinerator. J Hazard Mater 64:211–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Santos R, Mertens G, Salman M, Cizer O, Gerven T (2013) Comparative study of ageing, heat treatment and accelerated carbonation for stabilization of municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash in view of reducing regulated heavy metal/metalloid leaching. J Environ Manag 128:807–821CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sloot V, Kosson H, Hjelmar D (2001) Characteristics, treatment and utilization of residues from municipal waste incineration. Waste Manag 21:753–765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sabbas T, Polettini A, Pomi R, Astrup T, Hjelmar O, Mostbauer P et al (2003) Management of municipal solid waste residues. Waste Manag 23:61–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Schneider J, Vehlow J, Vogg H (1994) Improving the MSWI bottom ash quality by simple in-plant measures. In: Goumans JJJM, van der Sloot HA, Aalbers ThG (eds) Environmental aspects of construction with waste materials, studies in environmental sciences 60. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 605–620Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gerven T, Keer E, Arickx S, Jaspers M, Wauters G, Vandecasteele C (2005) Carbonation of MSWI-bottom ash to decrease heavy metal leaching, in view of recycling. Waste Manag 25:291–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Arickx S, Gerven T, Vandecasteele C (2006) Accelerated carbonation for treatment of MSWI bottom ash. J Hazard Mater 137:235–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gerven T, Cooreman H, Imbrechts K, Hindrix K, Vandecasteele C (2007) Extraction of heavy metals from municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) bottom ash with organic solutions. J Hazard Mater 140:376–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Quek A, Xu W, Guo L, Wu D (2016) Heavy metal removal from incineration bottom ash through washing with rainwater and seawater. Int J Waste Resour 6:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Agcasulu I, Akcil A (2017) Metal recovery from bottom ash of an incineration plant: laboratory reactor tests. Miner Process Extr Metall Rev 38:199–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Arickx S, Gerven T, Knaepkens T et al (2007) Influence of treatment techniques on Cu leaching and different organic fractions in MSWI bottom ash leachate. Waste Manag 27:1422–1427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hong K, Tokunaga S, Kajiuchi T (2000) Extraction of heavy metals from MSW incinerator fly ashes by chelating agents. J Hazard Mater 75:57–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bosshard P, Bachofen R, Brandl H (1996) Metal leaching of fly ash from municipal waste incineration by Aspergillus niger. Environ Sci Technol 30:3066–3070CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ishigaki T, Nakanishi A, Tateda M, Ike M, Fujita M (2005) Bioleaching of metal from municipal waste incineration fly ash using a mixed culture of sulfur-oxidizing and iron-oxidizing bacteria. Chemosphere 60:1087–1094CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wu H, Ting Y (2006) Metal extraction from municipal solid waste (MSW) incinerator fly ash-Chemical leaching and fungal bioleaching. Enzym Microb Technol 38:839–847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wang Q, Yang J, Wang Q, Wu T (2009) Effects of water-washing pretreatment on bioleaching of heavy metals from municipal solid waste incinerator fly ash. J Hazard Mater 162:812–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ure A (1995) Heavy metals in soils. Blackie Academic and Professional, London, pp 58–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Jadhav U, Hocheng H (2015) Analysis of metal bioleaching from thermal power plant fly ash by Aspergillus niger 34770 culture supernatant and reduction of phytotoxicity during the process. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 175:870–881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Gau S, Jeng W (1998) Influence of ligands on metals leachability from landfilling bottom ashes. J Hazard Mater 58:59–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Muchova L, Bakker E, Rem P (2009) Precious metals in municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash. Water Air Soil Pollut 9:107–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Brombacher C, Bachofen R, Brandl H (1998) Development of a laboratory-scale leaching plant for metal extraction from fly ash by Thiobacillus strains. Appl Environ Microbiol 64:1237–1241Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Jung C, Matsuto T, Tanaka N et al (2004) Metal distribution in incineration residues of municipal solid waste (MSW) in Japan. Waste Manag 24:381–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Bruder-Hubscher V, Lagarde F, Leroy M et al (2002) Application of a sequential extraction procedure to study the release of elements from municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash. Anal Chim Acta 451:285–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Feng S, Wang X, Wei G, Peng P, Yang Y, Cao Z (2007) Leachates of municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash from Macao: heavy metal concentrations and genotoxicity. Chemosphere 67:1133–1137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Huang K, Inoue K, Harada H, Kawakita H, Ohto K (2011) Leaching of heavy metals by citric acid from fly ash generated in municipal waste incineration plants. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 13:118–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Goyne W, Brantley L, Chorover J (2010) Rare earth element release from phosphate minerals in the presence of organic acids. Chem Geol 278:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Saidan M, Brown B, Valix M (2012) Leaching of electronic waste using biometabolised acids. Chin J Chem Eng 20:530–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Steer J, Griffiths A (2013) Investigation of carboxylic acids and non-aqueous solvents for the selective leaching of zinc from blast furnace dust slurry. Hydrometallurgy 140:34–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Li P, Zeng G, Xu W, Zhang C, Jiang M (2010) Effects of organic acids on zinc and lead leaching from contaminated sediments. China Environ Sci 30:1235–1240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Saito C, Okada H, Titus M, Yoshioka T, Mizoguchi T (2007) Leaching of heavy metals from fly ash generated from gasification and melting furnace for municipal solid wastes by organic acids. Jpn Soc Waste Manag Expert 18:157–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Li L, Ge J, Wu F, Chen R, Chen S, Wu B (2010) Recovery of cobalt and lithium from spent lithium ion batteries using organic citric acid as leachant. J Hazard Mater 176:288–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Umesh U. Jadhav
    • 1
    Email author
  • Basanta Kumar Biswal
    • 2
  • Zhitao Chen
    • 2
  • En-Hua Yang
    • 2
  • Hong Hocheng
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologySavitribai Phule Pune UniversityPuneIndia
  2. 2.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Department of Power Mechanical EngineeringNational Tsing Hua UniversityHsinchuTaiwan, ROC

Personalised recommendations