The release of inorganic and organic contaminants from municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) bottom ash is controlled to a large extent by the release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and in particular by the reactive humic (HA) and fulvic acids (FA) subfractions of DOC. The properties of organic matter contributing to the release of DOC, HA and FA are, therefore, important for environmental risk assessment. In this study we have quantitatively measured the carbon speciation, and its relation with the leaching of Cu, in three fresh and carbonated MSWI bottom ash samples. Results show that up to only 25% of loss on ignition (LOI) consists of organic carbon (OC), while about 17% of OC in the three samples consists of HA and FA. Up to 50% of DOC in MSWI bottom ash leachates was identified as fulvic acid (FA). This value is substantially higher than previously estimated for these MSWI bottom ash samples and is consistent with the higher recovery of the new method that was applied. The results of this study imply that methods focusing on specific carbon fractions are more appropriate for assessment of environmentally relevant organic carbon species than the measurement of LOI.
- dissolved organic-carbon
- preparative isolation