Waste incineration: Behaviour of waste and ash containing caesium and strontium
The background is the development of treatment strategies for contaminated waste resulting from nuclear accidents. The subject of the work is to research the behaviour of small fractions of caesium and strontium in waste during incineration and in the resulting ashes to be disposed of. bifa contributes its expertise in the behaviour of materials in waste incineration and on the environmental compatibility of the remaining ashes. The Chair of Energy Process Engineering of TU Dresden supports the research project by providing its extensive know-how in the area of thermal waste treatment and firing technology.
In the research project, non-radioactive caesium and strontium compounds will be added to a fuel similar to municipal waste. The incineration tests will take place in TU Dresden’s Centre for Energy Engineering. The following processes will be used:
- Fuel bed firing and
- fluidised bed combustion
During the incineration the fuel bed and fluidised bed ash will be collected and samples of the fly ash will be taken. The ash will be examined in bifa’s laboratories with regard to the two focal areas:
- ash ageing and
- leaching behaviour
To this end, ash samples will be examined comprehensively, aged under controlled conditions and leached at different stages of ageing and in different environments. By combining different methods, the mineral phases containing caesium and strontium and the solubility of the elements will be determined under different environmentally relevant conditions. This is fundamental information that can be used for forecasting the long-term behaviour of these materials for a disposal strategy. One of the applied methods is the approach developed by bifa for differentiating between substance groups in complex mineral waste, which is also used for the classification of fuel bed ash under waste legislation. The method is the basis of the Practical guide on the waste legislation classification of bottom ash from household waste incineration (Praxisleitfadens zur abfallrechtlichen Einstufung von Rostaschen aus der Hausmüllverbrennung) of the IGAM and ITAD associations.
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Dr. Karsten Wambach