An ecotoxic risk assessment of residue materials produced by the plasma pyrolysis/vitrification (PP/V) process

Citation:
Lapa, N., J. F. Santos Oliveira, S. L. Camacho, and L. J. Circeo. "An ecotoxic risk assessment of residue materials produced by the plasma pyrolysis/vitrification (PP/V) process." Waste Management. 22.3 (2002): 335-342.

Abstract:

Plasma is the fourth state of matter, following the three states of solid, liquid and gas. Experience has amply demonstrated that solids exposed to the oxygen-deficient plasma flame are converted to liquid, and liquid exposed to the same flame is converted to gas. A low amount of vitrified solid residue material usually remains at the end of this process. Plasma pyrolysis/vitrification (PP/V) has been demonstrated as a safe, efficient, cost-effective technology for the treatment of wastes, including hazardous wastes. Besides the low amounts of gaseous byproducts that PP/V produces, the solid vitrified residue presents a low leachability of pollutants. Studies have been performed in many countries in order to assess the leachability of chemical substances. But from the results of identified studies, none has reported results on the ecotoxicological properties of the leachates. The aim of this study was to contribute to the assessment of ecotoxic risk of four different vitrified materials. Vitrified samples of contaminated soils, municipal solid wastes, and incinerator bottom ashes were submitted to the European leaching pre-standard test number prEN 12457-2. The leachates were analyzed for 22 chemical parameters. The biological characterization comprised the assessment of bioluminescence inhibition of Photobacterium phosphoreum bacterium, growth inhibition of Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata algae and the germination inhibition of Lactuca sativa vegetable. The chemical and ecotoxicological results were analyzed according to the French proposal of Criteria on the Evaluation Methods of Waste Toxicity (CEMWT) and a Toxicity Classification System (TCS). The chemical and ecotoxicological results indicated a low leachability of pollutants and a low toxicity level of leachates. All samples studied were as below the TCS class 1 level (no significant toxicity observed) and as non-ecotoxic for CEMWT. Therefore, the environmental ecotoxic risk of the analyzed vitrified samples was determined to be very low.

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