Demonstration study of high temperature melting for asbestos-containing waste (ACW)

Osada, M.; Takamiya, K.; Manako, K.; Noguchi, M.; Sakai, S. (2013) Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 15(1): 25-36

The service life of many buildings and houses built using asbestos-containing materials is coming to an end and their demolition will lead to a great deal of asbestos-containing waste (ACW). Conventionally, the disposal of such waste is conducted by isolation under controlled landfill procedures; however problems with this method exist, such as the risk at the time of re-utilization of landfill sites and the depletion of lands to be reclaimed. Melting treatment is a promising technology that could be used to solve these problems; a thermal process involving temperatures exceeding the melting points of asbestos, it transforms them into non-hazardous minerals. This technology may be applicable not only for friable ACW but also for nonfriable ACW. We performed a demonstration test of melting treatment of nonfriable ACW using a gasification and melting furnace of the shaft furnace type, which is a typical method for high temperature melting. Detailed observation using transmission electron microscopy as well as general analyses verified that the same level of asbestos remained in the slag obtained by high temperature melting as that of the background soil. In addition, the asbestos concentration in the exhaust gas and the dust from the facility were at sufficiently low levels, and it was thus verified that the asbestos concentration in the atmosphere in the vicinity of the facility during the melting treatment was comparable to that of Japan's background level reported by the Ministry of the Environment in 2007.


Asbestos-containing waste (ACW), High temperature melting, Gasification and melting furnace, Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)