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Keywords:

  • ceramics;
  • industrial ecology;
  • life cycle assessment (LCA);
  • loop closing;
  • resource recovery;
  • waste valorization

Summary

This article presents the results of an experimental activity aimed at investigating the technical feasibility and the environmental performance of using municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash to produce glass frit for ceramic glaze (glaze frit). The process includes an industrial pretreatment of bottom ash that renders the material suitable for use in glaze frit production and allows recovery of aluminum and iron. The environmental performance of this treatment option is assessed with the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. The goal of the LCA study is to assess and compare the environmental impacts of two scenarios of end of life of bottom ash from municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI): landfill disposal (conventional scenario) and bottom ash recovery for glaze frit production (innovative scenario). The main results of the laboratory tests, industrial simulations, and LCA study are presented and discussed, and the environmental advantages of recycling versus landfill disposal are highlighted.