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Technical suitability of the fine fraction of municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash to the landfill capping liner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Environmental and Technical Implications of Construction with Alternative Materials WASCON 2018
Subtitle of host publicationNo Gradle, No Grave - Circular Economy into Practice
EditorsV. Raasakka, P. Lahtinen
PublisherRIL - Finnish Association of Civil Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-758-631-3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2018
Publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book
EventInternational Conference on the Environmental and Technical Implications of Construction with Alternative Materials - , United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jan 2000 → …


ConferenceInternational Conference on the Environmental and Technical Implications of Construction with Alternative Materials
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period1/01/00 → …


To protect the natural aggregates and promote the circular economy the suitable secondary aggregates have been studied intensively in last decades in Finland. One promising secondary aggregate is bottom ash from the municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) process.
The municipal incinerator bottom ash (MIBA, also called MSWI BA) contains heavy metals and other contaminants limiting its environmental acceptability. The fines contain typically the highest concentrations of contaminants. The portion of inert particles such as rock, glass and mineral waste is higher in coarser fractions.
The aim of the study was to assess the suitability of the fines of MIBA to the mineral liner in landfill capping. Based on the environmental permit, the target permeability value for capping liner is k ≤ 1 · 10-9 m/s. The permeability of the fines of MIBA is typically around 1 · 10-7 m/s when well compacted. In order to achieve the required permeability, bentonite or other additivies are needed. The grains are porous and the pH is high, typically 10-12, which effect on the amount of bentonite required. In addition, the MIBA contain high concentrations of diluting chlorides, sulfides and calcium, which decrease the swelling properties of the bentonite. The swelling capacity of bentonite decreases when permeating aggressive leakages with high cation concentration. Therefore a special polymer treated bentonite were chosen for the tests. The addition of superabsorbent polymers, which have much higher resistance to aggressive leakages, greatly improve the performance and self-healing capacity of bentonite.
First, laboratory tests were performed to estimate the proper amount and quality of the bentonite needed to achieve the permeability required. Two bentonite types were tested, the common natural bentonite and a special polymer modified bentonite produced by Cetco. The swelling index of both types of bentonite were tested by a eluate of MIBA. Several permeability tests were performed to evaluate the effect of dry density, bentonite quality and dose, and portion of coarser grains (2-5 mm).
After laboratory testing, a test area was constructed on an old waste fill to the Ämmässuo. During the construction, it was noticed that the water content effects significantly on the compaction result. The mineral liner was covered by a 1,5 mm thick LLDPE geomembrane and protective geotextile. The liner structure is covered only by a 0,5 m thick drainage layer from crushed rock. No surface layer were constructed.
After one year, the liner was exposed and studied. The quality of the structures, especially the mineral liner were visually evaluated and gas emissions were measured from the surface. The density of the layer was measured by volymeter and troxler and the water content and permeability were measured in laboratory. Based on the visual inspection the surface of the mineral liner was smooth, and the layer homogenious and hardened


  • municipal solid waste bottom slag, Landfill cover, bentonite, chemical incompability

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