A large-scale field trial experiment to derive effective release of heavy metals from incineration bottom ashes during construction in land reclamation

Wei-Ping Chan, Fei Ren, Xiaomin Dou, Ke Yin, Victor Wei-Chung Chang

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Recycling of incineration bottom ashes (IBA) is attracting great interest as it is considered as a vital aspect for closing the waste loop to achieve sustainable development at the growing cities around the world. Various laboratory-testing methods are developed to assess the release potential of heavy metals – one of the most important concerns of using IBA, by reflecting the release conditions of heavy metals from IBA based on the targeted land reclamation application scenarios and corresponding environmental conditions. However, realistic release of the concerned elements in actual application with the presence of complex environment could possibly deviate from the outcomes produced by leaching tests carried out in the laboratory. Hence, a set of large-scale column trial experiments was performed to experimentally determine the effective release of heavy metals, when IBA is used as a filling material in land reclamation. 20 tons of IBA and 320 m3 of seawater were used in six column trial experiments. The release of 13 heavy metal elements was analyzed through multiple aspects which included kinetics of release, distribution of elements in seawater and the impacts of two different dumping methods, with and without application of a chute. After dumping of IBA into the seawater, almost instantaneous release of heavy metals with uniform horizontal dispersion was observed. Higher concentration of these elements was observed near the bottom of the column, especially when a chute was applied. Comparative analysis was then carried out to establish relationships between the results obtained from the column trial with batch leaching test carried out in the laboratory. Distinctive relationships were observed for different heavy metals which suggests the need of pursuance of further understanding on leaching of IBA in real application scenario and complex environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-190
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Heavy metals
  • IBA
  • Land reclamation
  • Leaching
  • Seawater

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