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An ecotoxicological approach for hazard identification of energy ash
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
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2011 (English)In: Waste Management, ISSN 0956-053X, E-ISSN 1879-2456, Vol. 31, no 2, 342-352 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Within the EU, ash should be classified by its inherent hazardous effects under criterion H-14 (ecotoxic) in the Directive on waste (2008/98/EC). Today, however, there are no harmonized quantitative criterions for such a classification, but it is stated that biological test systems can be used. In this study seven ash materials were leached and characterized, both biologically and chemically. The objectives were to evaluate if (a) clear concentration-response relationships could be achieved for the selected toxicity tests (bacteria, algae, crustacean and fish). (b) some test(s) are generally more sensitive and (c) the toxic responses were consistent with the chemical analyzes. Interestingly, our results indicate that high concentrations of non-hazardous components (Ca, K) influenced the toxicity of almost all ash eluates, whereas hazardous components (e.g. Zn, Pb) only influenced the toxicity of the eluates ranked as most hazardous. If considering both hazardous and non-hazardous substances, the observed toxic responses were relatively consistent with the chemical analyzes. Our results further showed that the (sub)chronic tests were much more sensitive than the acute tests. However, the use of extrapolation factors to compensate for using the less sensitive acute tests will likely lead to either over- or underestimations of toxicity. Our recommendation is therefore that classification of waste according to H-14 should be based on (sub)chronic test data. Finally, given that treatment of the eluates prior to toxicity testing has a major significance on the concentration and speciation of released substances, further studies are needed in order to propose a relevant testing scheme.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 31, no 2, 342-352 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-67504DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2010.05.019ISI: 000286411400017OAI: diva2:470458

authorCount :6

Available from: 2011-12-29 Created: 2011-12-28 Last updated: 2013-09-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Ecotoxicological classification of ash materials
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ecotoxicological classification of ash materials
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Incineration of waste is increasing in the EU. However, in the incineration process, both fly and bottom ash materials are generated as waste that requires further action. A common goal throughout Europe is to find ways to utilize ash materials in an environmentally and economically efficient manner in accordance with the current legislation. This legislation is the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) which lists essential properties (H-criteria) to classify waste, as hazardous or not. Of these criteria, ecotoxicity (H-14) should be classified based on the wastes’ inherent hazardous properties. The WFD further states that this classification should be based on the Community legislation on chemicals (the CLP Regulation). Today, there are no harmonized quantitative criteria for the H-14 classification in the WFD, but there is a proposal from the EU on a computing model that summarizes all the measured elements classified as ecotoxic in the solid material. However, there may be a poor relationship between the theoretical ecotoxicity, based on analysed individual elements, and their actual contribution to the measured total toxicity. Therefore, to reduce the risk of incorrectly assessing the hazard potential, the overall aim of this doctoral Thesis was to develop a scientifically well-founded basis for the choice of leaching methodology and ecotoxicity testing for the H-14 classification of ash materials in Europe. In Paper I, different ash materials were classified, two leaching methods were compared and the sensitivity as well as the usefulness of a selected number of aquatic ecotoxicity tests were evaluated. Paper III and IV studied different leaching conditions, relevant for both hazard classification and risk evaluation of ash. Moreover, all four papers investigated potentially causative ecotoxic elements in the ash leachates. The results from this Thesis show that elements not classified as ecotoxic in the chemical legislation have a significant influence on the overall toxicity of the complex ash materials and will be considered if using the approach with ecotoxicity tests on ash leachates, but not if using the computing model. In addition, the approach of comparing chemically analysed elements in the solid ash with literature toxicity data for the same elements systematically over-estimates the hazard potential. This emphasizes the importance of using leaching tests in combination with ecotoxicity tests for the ecotoxicity classification of ash materials, at least if the aim is to fully understand the inherent hazard potential of the ash. To conclude, the recommendation for H-14 classification of ash is that leachates should be prepared using the leaching test and conditions evaluated in Paper III and that the generated leachates should be tested in a battery of test organisms representing a wide range of biological variation and different routes of exposure. This classification proposal has support in the CLP Regulation and contributes to harmonizing the waste and chemical legislation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, 2013. 35 p.
ecotoxicity, ash, classification, leaching, Waste Framework Directive, CLP-Regulation, Hazard Identification
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-93114 (URN)978-91-7447-746-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-10-18, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-09-26 Created: 2013-09-02 Last updated: 2013-09-16Bibliographically approved

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