JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, vol.105, pp.131-137, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
Solidification/stabilization (S/S) of automotive phosphate coating sludge (PS) containing potentially toxic heavy metals was studied. The hazardous characteristics of this waste were assessed according to both Turkish and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for hazardous solid waste. Unconfined compressive strength (UCS) and leaching behavior tests of the solidified/stabilized product were performed. Solidification studies were conducted using Portland cement (PC) as the binder. UCS was found to decrease with increasing waste content It was found that recovery of the waste for construction applications was possible when the waste content of the mortar was 20% and below, but solidification for safe disposal was achieved only when higher waste concentrations were added. Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb and Zn were found to be significantly immobilized by the solidification/stabilization process. Ni and Zn, which were present at particularly high concentrations (2.281 and 135.318 g/kg respectively) in the PS, had highest the retention levels (94.87% and 98.74%, respectively) in the PC mortars. The organic contaminants and heavy metals present in PS were determined to be immobilized by the S/S process in accordance with the BS 6920 standard. Thus, the potential for hazardous PS waste to adversely impact human health and the environment was effectively eliminated by the S/S procedure. We conclude that S/S-treated PS is safe for disposal in landfills, while recovery of S/S-treated PS constituents remains possible. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.