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Combining mineral fractions of recovered MSWI bottom ash: improvement for utilization in civil engineering structures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalWaste and Biomass Valorization
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2016
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


In real-life construction projects, the utilization of different types of waste derived aggregates can often be falsely considered as utilization, but in fact, it is merely dumping the potentially high value material from one site to another. For example, building highway noise barriers with waste derived aggregates cannot be considered as utilization. In this study, a more advanced approach was chosen in order to create aggregate like products from recovered municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) bottom ash (BA) and thus potentially increase their value and image in civil engineering applications. MSWI BA from one waste incineration plant in Finland was first treated with a Dutch dry treatment technology called ADR (Advanced Dry Recovery). This process separates non-ferrous and ferrous metals from MSWI BA and generates mineral fractions of different grain sizes. These mineral fractions may not be used separately, for example, in the unbound structural layers of roads due to the strict grain size distribution requirements of these civil engineering structures. Hence, different combinations were designed from these BA mineral fractions using the mathematical proportioning of aggregates. The aim was to create aggregate like products from this waste material for different structural layers (filtration, sub-base and base) of, for example, road and field structures. Three mixtures were chosen based on their correspondence to the grain size distribution requirements of natural aggregates and further analyzed in the laboratory from their technical, mechanical and environmental point of view. The leaching of chrome (Cr) and chloride (Cl-) exceeded the Finnish emission boundary values for utilization of certain types of ashes in civil engineering. On the other hand, the technical and mechanical properties of these mixed bottom ash products were considered suitable to be used, for example, in the unbound structural layers of the interim storage field in a waste treatment center. In such location, also the leaching potential of harmful substances can be further studied and verified in a larger scale.