Zeolite Synthesized by Alkaline Hydrothermal Treatment of Bottom Ash from Combustion of Municipal Solid Wastes


  • C. M. Jantzen—contributing editor

  • This work received financial assistance from CICYT Project PB98-0516.


The conversion of bottom ash from fluidized-bed combustion of municipal solid waste (MSW) to zeolite, by means of alkaline hydrothermal treatment (HT), in 1M NaOH solution, is presented in this work. The transformation of the bottom ash was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, surface area (BET-N2), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses. As a result of the HT at 100°C, Na6[AlSiO4]6·4H2O, of the structural family of zeolites, together with Ca3AlFe(SiO4)(OH)8, of the structural family of hydrogarnets, began to appear; the surface area of the bottom ash increased 11 times. At 150°C, the amount of Na6[AlSiO4]6·4H2O increased and andradite, hydroxylian (Ca3Fe2(SiO4)3−x(OH)4−x), of the structural family of garnet, was formed. After 200°C of HT, Na6[AlSiO4]6·4H2O was massively formed together with aluminum tobermorite (Ca5Si5Al(OH)O17·5H2O); Ca3AlFe(SiO4)(OH)8 decreased. The surface area of the bottom ash increased 13 times. The conversion of bottom ash in zeolite is considered of great significance, opening new opportunities for stabilization and applications of this type of waste. Zeolite and also the other compounds—aluminum tobermorite, andradite, and Ca3AlFe(SiO4)(OH)8—can substitute a variety of ionic species, which allows the bottom ash to be useful for immobilizing toxic and radioactive wastes. An equivalent study was conducted in water instead of NaOH as a reference.