Municipal waste incinerator fly ash: Supercritical fluid extraction of metals

Christof Kersch*, Martijn Van Der Kraan, Geert F. Woerlee, Geert J. Witkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The amount of residues such as fly ash from municipal waste incinerators and coal-fired power plants is growing. Fly ash is usually contaminated with toxic heavy metals that leach out on contact with water and pollute the groundwater. Therefore, isolated and expensive disposal of the ash is required. Reuse of ash as a filler for cement or pavements only allows minimum leachability of metals and maximum leaching values of various metals from reused fly ash are prescribed by national legislation. Supercritical-fluid extraction (SFE) offers a method to reduce the metal content so that leachability is reduced and the demands of legislation are observed. This paper presents results of metal extraction from municipal waste incinerator ash using supercritical CO2. Initial experiments with a 12dm3 rotating extraction vessel and constant solvent flow showed extraction efficiencies of between 10% and 52%. The influences of complexing-agent concentration and process time are studied on divalent metals such as Zn2+, Pb2+, Cu2+, Sb2+, Ni2+, and Cd2+.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-259
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 25 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Fly-ash
  • Leaching
  • Metals
  • Supercritical-fluid extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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