Influence of the type of furnace on behavior of radioactive cesium in municipal solid waste thermal treatment

Hiroshi Fujiwara, Hidetoshi Kuramochi, Tomoharu Maeseto, Kazutaka Nomura, Yukio Takeuchi, Katsuya Kawamoto, Shinichi Yamasaki, Kouki Kokubun, Masahiro Osako

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Municipal solid waste (MSW) contaminated by radioactive cesium (r-Cs) has been incinerated since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Eight thermal treatment plants with four different types of furnaces were comprehensively investigated to provide fundamental data to improve our understanding of the behavior of r-Cs in various types of MSW thermal treatment facilities. R-Cs tended to distribute to the fly ash (FA) more than to the residue from the bottom of the furnace (bottom ash, incombustibles or slag). The r-Cs concentrations in the FA depended on the type of furnace and followed the order; fluidized-bed incinerator < stoker type incinerator < gasification melting furnaces. Shaft-type gasification melting furnace separated r-Cs selectively into FA and simultaneously discharged decontaminated slag. The leaching rate of r-Cs from FA was high, 30–100%, and independent of the type of furnace, whereas r-Cs in the residue from the bottom of the furnace scarcely dissolved in water. Heat recovery ash e.g. gas cooler ash was characterized by intermediate r-Cs concentrations and leachabilities compared with bottom residue and FA in stoker type and fluidized-bed incinerator. In the case of shaft-type gasification melting furnace, however, heat recovery ash showed similar property to FA due to a cyclone followed by heat recovery process. We evaluated whether baghouses (air- pollution control equipment) successfully removed r-Cs from flue gas. In all cases, r-Cs in flue gas was below the limit of detection after baghouse. We concluded that different types of furnaces affected r-Cs distributions, but flue gases from baghouse systems of all types of furnaces were safe.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)41-52
    Number of pages12
    JournalWaste Management
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018


    • Flue gas treatment
    • Leachability
    • Municipal solid waste
    • Radioactive cesium
    • Thermal treatment residue

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Waste Management and Disposal


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