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Waste Management 21 (2001) 229±233


Behaviour of cement-treated MSWI bottom ash

G. Pecqueur a,*, C. Crignon a, B. QueÂneÂe b
DeÂpartement GeÂnie Civil±Ecole des Mines de Douai, BP 838-59508 Douai Cedex, France
LERM, BP138-13631 Arles, France

MSWI bottom ash is the residue of combustion. The use of bottom ash in road construction is wide spread. French legislation
forbids the disposal of resuable waste in special land®ll from 2002. Moreover, ``arreÃte du 9 mai 1994'' provides environmental cri-
teria (leaching threshold, etc.), and evaluates this material according to utilisation in road construction. In such application, bottom
ash is often treated with binder to improve its mechanical features. Nevertheless, bottom ash is subject to chemical problems. These
problems induce an expansion which brings about cracking and ®nally road destruction. Therefore, it is necessary to estimate the
swelling potential of MSWI bottom ash prior utilisation. This is one of the aims of the European contract ``Mashroad'' (contract
BRST CT97-5150). This study involved 4 years of work on cement-treated MSWI bottom ash. It examined di€erent tests that show
the importance of oxidation of aluminium in the swelling reaction and the eciency of di€erent treatments. Di€erent binders were
used in order to have di€erent proportions of clinker. The kinetic aspects of aluminium-binder reaction were also studied. Finally,
we present a special cell to measure the swelling pressure of these materials is presented. # 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights
Keywords: MSWI bottom ash; Expansion; Chemical reaction; Binder treatment; Aluminium

1. Introduction problems that induce expansion and pavement cracking.

The aim of this study is to deal with this problem of
The production of municipal wastes in the European expansion. This work approaches di€erent points:
community is estimated at about 150 million t per year. the study of MSWI ash behaviour;
Today, only 20% is incinerated which represents about
9 million t of municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) 1. the measurement of expansion;
ash. This is principally disposed of in land®ll. These 2. the impact of treatment with binders on expansion;
quantities will increase considerably with the growth of and
municipal waste production, the progressive closing of 3. understanding of the chemical reactions that result
land®ll, the de®nition of new environmental standards, in swelling.
and reuse and elimination policies.
In France, the environmental policies [1] accept the This study began in 1996 and is now the subject of the
utilisation of small leaching part MSW in road con- European project MASHROAD (BRST-CT97-5150).
struction. The part of MSW which is incinerated is
about 40%. The utilisation of treated or untreated
MSWI ash is limited essentially to applications like 2. Material properties
embankments in road construction or buildings far
from water sources. The MSWI bottom ash studied comes from Lagny sur
The respect of environmental rules is not the only Marne where the company Yprema is sited. Yprema
criterion for utilisation. The geotechnical aspect must be prepares the material for direct use in road construc-
addressed. In fact, bottom ash is subject to chemical tion. The di€erent steps are:

1. to sieve to a size distribution about 0/31.5 mm;

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +33-32771-2423; fax: +33-32771- 2. to remove iron particles; and
2916. 3. to age the MSWI bottom ash for more than 2
E-mail address: pecqueur@ensm-douai.fr (G. Pecqueur). months.
0956-053X/01/$ - see front matter # 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
PII: S0956-053X(00)00094-5
230 G. Pecqueur et al. / Waste Management 21 (2001) 229±233

The size distribution is given in Fig. 1. This curve 3.1. Causes of swelling
quali®es the ash for direct utilisation, after an aging
period, in road construction. The MSWI bottom ash is Previous studies show di€erent causes of swelling, and
frequently treated on the site for an embankment or conditions which lead to these phenomena. Three main
road utilisation. reasons are well known:
The mineralogical composition is presented in Fig. 2.
The MSWI bottom ash used in this study is classi®ed in 3.1.1. Formation of gel from oxidation of metallic
the V (for the french valorisation) category, so the envir- aluminium
onmental aspects are not considered further in this paper. At high pH (>10), the metal is dissolved, with emission
of hydrogen.

3. MSWI bottom ash expansion 4Al ‡ 16OHÿ ! 4Al2 Oÿ ‡ 8OHÿ ‡ 12eÿ

As mentioned earlier, bottom ash may show chemical 12H2 O ‡ 12eÿ ! 6H2 ‡ 12OHÿ
reactivity which is responsible for expansion and may
bring about cracking and ®nally road destruction. In
4Al ‡ 4OHÿ ‡ 4H2 O ! 6H2 ‡ 4AlOÿ
order to pursue utilisation of the material in road con-
struction, our understanding of reactions that lead to
bottom ash deformation must be improved. Many causes This reaction can occur when there is contact between
of expansion were postulated. Here, after presenting the metal and water or OHÿ ions. However iron reduction
di€erent causes, the occurrence of each of the reaction could end up in the same result. In fact, many studies
products is examined. In order to do this, bottom ash showed expansion near iron particles [2]. When the pH
samples were placed under several conditions which led goes down to 9±10, aluminium hydroxide forms a
to these di€erent kinds of swelling. Al(OH)3 gel:

2 ‡ 2H2 O ! Al…OH†3 ‡ OH

3.1.2. Ettringite formation

This reaction takes place when the material is satu-
rated with water [3].

Al2 O3 ‡ 3CaSO4 ‡ 3Ca…OH†2 ‡ 28H2 O


! …CaO†2 …Al2 O3 †…CaSO4 †3 …H2 O†31

Fig. 1. Particle size distribution. ettringite

Fig. 2. Mineralogical composition of municipal solid waste incinerator bottom ash.

G. Pecqueur et al. / Waste Management 21 (2001) 229±233 231

3.1.3. Lime and magnesium oxide hydration test was based on a Belgian accelerated underwater test
The Free calcium oxide and magnesium oxide cause carried out at 70 C on the Linz±Donawitz (LD) slags [4].
instability by their transformation into hydroxide. The axial deformations of all samples were measured
over several months.
CaO ‡ H2 O ! Ca…OH†2
MgO ‡ H2 O ! Mg…OH†2 3.3. Results

The resulting expansion appears less important than Fig. 4 shows the expansion of bottom ash for each
the two others mechanisms. Each type of swelling could treatment history. The highest degree of swelling was
happen depending on the bottom ash treatment history. observed under wet air conditions (2%). The expansion
of bottom ash samples kept underwater at 40 and 80 C
3.2. Experimental program remained much lower (<0.25%).

The aim of the experimental work was to look for each 3.4. Conclusions
of the reaction products and to show the degree of swelling
which was the outcome of the di€erent reactions. Some uncertainty regarding the results of these tests
The test specimens were compacted bottom ash samples remains: perhaps the testing time was too short to cause
in CBR cylinders under a 4.5-kg load. swelling due to ettringite formation or oxide hydration,
They were submitted to speci®c treatments which despite the increase of temperature. However, the wet
promote the di€erent expansion reactions. Fig. 3. air atmosphere seemed to be the worst conditions for
the bottom ash. Under these conditions, the greatest
3.2.1. Storage under wet conditions expansion was observed. Moreover, chemical analyses
The samples were kept in a wet place where oxygen and of the swelling gel con®rmed the presence of Al(OH)3.
humidity foster expansion from aluminium oxidation. Thus, it appears that the oxidation of metallic alumi-
nium is the main cause of swelling.
3.2.2. Storage under water at 40 C
The aim of this test was to ®nd proof of ettringite
formation. Naturally, the formation of ettringite is a 4. Actions of binders treatment on MSWI behaviour
very slow event. Use of a higher temperature increased
the kinetic reaction and allowed observation of the As it is very dicult to extract non-ferrous metals
occurrence of this reaction in a shorter time. from MSWI bottom ash on an industrial scale, one
solution is to treat MSWI bottom ash with cements.
3.2.3. Storage under water at 80 C Laboratory experiments were conducted to observe the
Under these conditions, expansion caused by calcium impact of di€erent cements on the swell. Di€erent binders
or magnesium oxide hydration could be observed. This were used:

Fig. 3. Sample in CBR (California Bearing Ratio) cylinder.

232 G. Pecqueur et al. / Waste Management 21 (2001) 229±233

Fig. 4. Municipal solid waste incinerator bottom ash swelling under various conditions.

1. an arti®cial Portland cement with low C3A content 1. the pH which is more alkaline with the Portland
(CPA); and cement; and
2. a mix of lime and slag. 2. the hardening time which is faster in the case of
Portland cement (about 6 h).
A cement content of about 3% of the total weight was
used. The di€erences between these two cements were: These parameters are the most important with regards
to oxidation of aluminium metal [5,6]. Table 1 presents
the di€erent compaction conditions. The reference is
always the modi®ed proctor optimum (OPM). The tests
Table 1 conditions (wet air) are the same as those explained in
Compaction characteristics Secton 3.2.
Dry density at OPMa OPM water content (%) Fig. 5 presents the swell deformation versus time. One
can observe that Portland cement treatment reduces the
No treatment 1.84 12.3 swell deformation about 70%. The slope of the curve is
CPAb 1.87 13
Lime and slag 1.85 14
higher for this treatment than the other. This e€ect was
attributed to the pH. The second part of the curves
OPM, modi®ed proctor optimum.
CPA, arti®cial Portland cement with low C3A content.

Fig. 5. Axial swell deformation versus time. Fig. 6. Al(OH)3 product of oxidation of aluminium metal.
G. Pecqueur et al. / Waste Management 21 (2001) 229±233 233

is continuing with the design of a new cell which mea-

sures the maximum stress of the swell reaction. In order
to control oxidation and water content, unsaturated
conditions based on in situ parameters are used.


The authors would like to thank the European Com-

munity for their ®nancial support of the project Mash-
road (contract BRST CT97-5150). We would like also
to thank Yprema, Calcia (Italcementi group) and
Eurovia for their ®nancial and technical support.

Fig. 7. Fe2O3 product of oxidation of iron. References

[1] Circulaire DPPR/SEI/BPSIED No. 94-IV-1 du 9 Mai 1994 du
ministeÁre de l'environnement relative aÁ l'eÂlimination des maÃche-
shows a competition between mechanical properties and fers d'incineÂration des reÂsidus urbains.
swell deformations. [2] Alkemade MMC, Eymael MMTh, Mulder E, de Wijs W. How to
The swell deformation is principally due to oxidation prevent expansion of MSWI bottom ash in road construction? In:
of metals such as aluminium or iron. The photos (Figs. 6 Goumans JJJM, Van der Sloot HA, Aalbers ThG, editors.
Environmental Aspects of Construction with Waste Materials,
and 7) present the products of these reaction. In Fig. 7, 1994. p. 863±876.
the cracks induced by the swell can be observed. [3] Djiele LP. Etude de la stabilisation d'un maÃchefer aux liants
hydrauliques±DEA de GeÂnie Civil, Ecole des Mines de Douai,
UST Lille I, 1996.
[4] MN 67/93±Essai de gon¯ement acceÂleÂre±essai de deÂlitement±Bel-
5. Conclusion
gique±Modes opeÂratoires pour l'eÂvaluation de la stabilite dimen-
sionnelle des scories LD et de mateÂriaux similaires.
These 4 years of research on MSWI bottom ash [5] Crignon C, Pecqueur G, Garcia-Diaz E, Germaneau B, Siwak
allowed us to quantify the in¯uence of cement treatment JM. Study of cement treated MSWI bottom ash expansion,
on expansion. Moreover, it was possible to explain the Waste stabilization and Environment 99, Lyon, Villeurbanne, 13±
origin of these expansions primarily as oxidation of 16 April 1999.
[6] Crignon C, Pecqueur G, Garcia-Diaz E, Siwak JM. In¯uence du
aluminium metal. traitement aux liants hydrauliques sur la stabilite dimensionnelle
In road design, the engineer needs a maximum swell des MIOM. 2 ieÁme congreÁs universitaire de GeÂnie Civil, AUGC,
stress rather than a maximum swell deformation. Work Des mateÂriaux aÁ l'ouvrage, Poitiers, 6 and 7 May 1999.