15 December 2014
Posted in Center Information
PI: Timothy Townsend, University of Florida
The use of thermal plasma to treat municipal solid waste has the potential to be a viable option in the field of solid waste management. Operation at extremely high temperatures, coupled with the limitation or lack of oxygen enable this process to vitrify wastes into a slag, for which several studies have shown low leachability in the TCLP. This final report covers two projects funded by the Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management (Development of a Bench Scale Plasma Arc Torch for Waste Vitrification and Slag Quality and Air Emissions from Plasma Vitrification of Solid Waste) and one project facilitated by the invaluable support of the Center (Investigation of Slag from Hurlburt Field High Temperature Gasification/Vitrification Unit).UF researchers have developed an argon plasma torch system, housed in the UF Plasma Waste Treatment Laboratory. With this, the bottom ash samples have been vitrified into glass-like slags. Thorough analysis of the compositions of these slags and the mobility of trace elements from these slags is presented and discussed herein. Future work centers on the vitrification/melting of electronic wastes, with regard given to potential environmental contaminants, as well as valuable platinum-group elements such as Au.Investigation into the residual slag from an operational pilot scale plasma/electric arc gasification/vitrification unit at Hulrburt Field, Florida has revealed information on the fate for elements during treatment and in potential reuse scenarios. A coupling of a newly-developed column leaching test with accelerated carbonation has allowed UF researchers to make predictions about long-term element mobility in slags.