Adding value to waste incineration

  • Italian researchers have proven low-cost methods for utilising municipal waste fly ash produced by incinerators, which could be the fifth largest global resource. The research has added value to an already useful waste product that produces electricity.
  • Fly ash is airborne ash as opposed to the deposits at the bottom of the incinerator. The issue in the past has been the presence of hazardous materials such as lead, mercury and high levels of salt that has led to ash being taken to landfill. Effective removal of these substances and the presence of chlorides, calcium compounds and sulphites make favourable material for use in cement.

This research could be a significant positive in the life cycle of waste materials combined with the greening of the construction industry, reducing the need to exploit natural resources. The procedure used to treat the ash is thought to be useful for treating coal fly ash which causes significant levels of waste and pollution.

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