Municipal Incinerator Flyash: A Hydrometallurgical Approach to Detoxification and Metal Recovery
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1993
Flyash from municipal solid waste incinerators containing roughly 13 to 15% Zn, 2% Pb and 0.2% Cd is an attractive material for simultaneous metal recovery and detoxification. Results have shown that Pb in flyash is present as PbSO4 and PbC12 and that about 70% of the Zn is present in the form of soluble amorphous compounds. Leaching results in a number of acid and basic lixiviants show that acid leaching is clearly more effective than basic leaching which is limited by low solubility of Cd and Zn. Cementation in acid solution with pH < 1 promotes redissolution of the precipitated metal. Successful zinc electrowinning from chloride leaching solutions has also been demonstrated, although Pb2+ and Na+ can be potentially detrimental. The presence of Pb2+ can prevent deposition of metallic Zn, forming zinc oxychloride, ZnC12.4Zn(OH)2, instead. High concentrations of Na+ can also result in precipitation of NaCl. This investigation has shown that hydrometallurgical treatment of MSW flyash through leaching, cementation and electrowinning is a potentially feasible method for simultaneous detoxification and recovery of metal values. Several issues have also been identified which would require further investigation for final process development.