CMPS&F - Environment Australia
Appropriate technologies for the treatment of scheduled wastes
Review Report Number 4 - November 1997
This review has been initiated by Environment Australia and its purpose is to provide an independent source of information on the current status of the development and availability within Australia of technologies for treating scheduled wastes. Specifically, the review has a focus on treatment technologies which either have an existing Australian linkage or interest in implementing appropriate technologies in Australia. This information will be used:
While the results of the review may provide information which will enable a comparison to be made between the various technologies, the purpose of this review is not to indicate a preference for one technology over another. Decisions of this type will be left to the market.
During this fourth and final review, stakeholders were contacted to obtain relevant information on the technologies available in Australia. In the first review, the groups contacted were limited to those generally known to be active in this field as indicated by Environment Australia in the project brief. However, advertising and networking has supplemented the list to the point that CMPS&F believes it represents a reasonable picture of current and potential players. Having said this, this review is not to be considered as a comprehensive review of all applicable waste treatment technologies, and the omission of technologies should not be interpreted as indicating that such technologies are not suitable for the treatment of certain scheduled wastes. CMPS&F is aware of a number of waste treatment technologies that are proposed for use in Australia where the vendors have declined to provide information for inclusion in this report (generally for commercial reasons).
Waste technologies are in a state of constant change, and there is continual development occurring which results in the capability of existing technologies being extended and new technologies being introduced.
Scheduled wastes are defined in the draft ANZECC National Strategy for the Management of Scheduled Waste (November 1992) as a material or article containing chemicals exceeding the threshold concentration and threshold quantity, which are organic in nature, resistant to degradation, toxic, and bioaccumulative. Together with the recommendations of the Scheduled Wastes Working Group (May 1993), this forms ANZECC's National Strategy for the Management of Scheduled Wastes.
In the ANZECC Strategy, "article" means an object that is manufactured for use for a particular purpose and contains the scheduled chemical while "material" means matter from which an item is made. From these definitions, it can be seen that the focus of the Strategy is on manufactured articles, rather than on contaminated environmental media such as soil or water which are managed under existing regulations.
However, the use of manufactured articles and certain manufacturing processes have given rise to contaminated materials such as soil, and this review extends to include such materials where the contamination is present in a relatively concentrated form.
The main thrust of the ANZECC Strategy is to properly manage the treatment and disposal of these contaminated waste materials. The Strategy particularly addresses wastes where the contamination is present in concentrations and quantities which make treatment and disposal difficult, and which make management inadequate under existing regulations applicable to the management of contaminated materials or waste of industrial origin.
The wastes specifically nominated for review in the project brief are those which occur in the greatest quantities in Australia, including the following:
A full listing of scheduled organochlorine pesticides and chlorinated hydrocarbons is presented in Schedule A of ANZECC's draft National Strategy for the Management of Scheduled Waste (November 1992). CFCs and dioxins have been removed from Schedule A and are therefore not addressed by this review. Dioxins and furans were omitted because they were not deliberately manufactured, as are the other scheduled materials. However, dioxins may be present as contaminants in other wastes or as the byproducts of treatment and therefore must be considered in this context.
The review does not attempt to consider mixed wastes (such as wastes containing both scheduled compounds together with heavy metals), and in general these will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis and may require a sequence of treatment steps, such as a treatment for the organic constituent, followed by treatment (such as immobilisation) for the inorganic constituent. However, the information included in this review, should provide useful information when examining treatment options for mixed wastes.
The physical and chemical characteristics of the nominated scheduled wastes when in pure form are shown in Table 2.1.
In practice, the wastes which are contaminated with these scheduled compounds can be in diverse physical and chemical form and include: disused equipment which may be made of plastics, metals, concrete or wood; manufacturing waste streams such as liquids, solids and sludges; contaminated waste materials such as spill clean up materials (rags and diatomaceous earth); and contaminated soils and waters.
The physical and chemical form of the wastes is important in determining the applicability of the various waste technologies. Considerable thought has been given by the suppliers of waste technologies to the application of their technologies to a wide range of contaminated materials. In the preparation of this review, consideration has been given to the following specific waste type categories, as these are indicative of particular waste types requiring treatment:
In addition, there may be certain wastes that are specific to a particular scheduled chemical and require particular treatment and disposal considerations. Where necessary, these particular waste types have been identified. A specific concern associated with the treatment of pesticide wastes is the presence of a range of other contaminants such as inorganic pesticides and iron residues. A common example is mixed DDT and arsenic wastes.
Clearly, the waste type categories listed above will not encompass all waste treatment issues. However, they encompass a sufficient range of treatment requirements to provide a good indication of the applicability of the various technologies.
|CATEGORY||CHEMICAL||REGULATORY SYNONYMS||PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS|
|Organochlorine pesticides and germicides||Aldrin||1,2,3,4,10,10-Hexachloro-
|Crystals, mp 104oC, vapour press at 20oC: 7.5-10.5 mm Hg., very soluble in most organic solvents, insoluble in water.|
|Benzene, hexachloro-||Hexachlorobenzene||Mp 231oC, bp 323-326oC, vapour press at 20oC: 1.09 x 10 -5 mm Hg., sublimable, insoluble in water.|
|Benzene, pentachloronitro||Pentachloronitrobenzene||Crystals, mp 144oC, insoluble in water.|
Benzene hexachloride (alpha isomer)
|White or yellowish powder or flakes, musty odour. Colour, odour, mp vary with isomeric composition, mp 157 - 158oC (alpha isomer).|
|beta-BHC||Benzene hexachloride (beta isomer)||Insoluble in water, soluble in most organic solvents. Sublimes at 297oC (beta isomer).|
|gamma-BHC||Hexachlorocyclohexane (gamma isomer), Lindane||Crystals, mp 112.5 C. vapour press at 20oC: 9.4 x 10 -6 mm Hg., insoluble in water.|
|delta-BHC||Mp 138 - 139oC.|
|Viscous, amber-coloured liquid. Insoluble in water, loses its chlorine in presence of alkaline reagents miscible with aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon solvents.|
|Crystals, mp 176 - 177oC, vapour press at 20oC: 3.1x10-6 mm Hg. Practically insoluble in water; moderately soluble in common organic solvents. Stable in organic and inorganic alkalies and acids commonly used in agriculture. Affected by strong mineral acids.|
|Crystals, mp 109 - 1100C. Insoluble in water.|
|Degradation product of DDT, found as an impurity in DDT residues.|
|Mp 108.5 - 109oC. Vapour press at 20oC: 1.5 x 10-7 mm Hg. Practically insoluble in water dilute acids, alkalis; soluble in organic solvent. Resistant to destruction by light and oxidation.|
|Decomposes at 200oC, white crystals, insoluble in water or methanol, moderately soluble in other organic solvents.|
|Crystals, mp 95 - 96oC, practically insoluble in water, soluble in organic solvents.|
2,3-epoxy-3a, 4,7,7a-tetrahydro- 4,7-methanoindene
|Degradation product of heptachlor.|
|Crystallised from benzene, mp 164-165oC. Practically insoluble in water. Soluble in dilute alkaline aqueous solutions. Forms salts with alkalis and alkaline earths.|
|Crystals, mp 240 - 242oC.|
|Pentachlorophenol||Phenol, pentachloro-||Crystals, mp 190-191oC, bp 309 - 310oC, sublimes in needles. Solubility in water 8 mg/100 mL.|
|2,4,5 Trichloro phenoxyacetic acid||2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic acid||Crystals, mp 153oC. Almost insoluble in water|
|Benzene, 1,2,4 trichloro||1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene||Colourless liquid, mp 17oC, bp 213oC, flash point 110oC, soluble in water.|
|Benzene, hexachloro||Hexachlorobenzene||Mp 231oC, bp 323-326oC, vapour pressure at 20oC: 1.09 x 10-5 mm Hg. Sublimable, insoluble in water|
|Benzene, pentachloro-||Pentachlorobenzene||Crystals, mp 86oC insoluble in water, bp 277oC.|
|Benzene, 1,2,4,5 - tetrachloro||1,2,4,5-Tetrachlorobenzene||Crystals, mp 54.5oC, bp 246oC, soluble in water.|
|Endrin aldehyde||Crystals, decomposes at 245oC, vapour pressure, at 25oC: 2x10-7 mm Hg.|
|Phenol, 2,3,4,6, tetrachloro||2,3,4,6-Tetrachlorophenol||Crystals, mp 70oC, bp 150oC, insoluble in water.|
|PCBs||Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)||PCBs are mixtures eg Aroclor 1260, light yellow, soft, sticky resin. Distillation range 385-420oC.
Aroclor 1454, light yellow, viscous liquid. Distillation range 365 - 390oC.
The quantities of scheduled wastes requiring treatment are not well defined, and numerous surveys have not been able to adequately quantify either the physical characteristics or quantities of wastes. This has occurred because of a number of factors:
Given this uncertainty, it is not possible to define the quantities of scheduled wastes requiring treatment. However, previous studies have reviewed several categories of scheduled wastes, and illustrative information regarding these categories are included in Tables 2.2 and 2.3. It is emphasised that these quantities must be regarded as speculative and are included only to provide background for the technology review which follows. Hexachlorobenzene wastes form the greatest single category of concentrated scheduled wastes, and are held at a single location at the ICI plant at Botany, New South Wales. There are large quantities of materials containing low concentrations of scheduled waste constituents which may require treatment; these include pesticide contaminated soil, and PCB contaminated soil and oil.
|Wastes||Group||Oil volume (kL) (1)||Scheduled
Wastes (tonnes) (1)
|Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)||Wastes held by Electricity supply industry|
||276 622||1.89 (1.286 kL)|
|103.5 (70.4 kL)
8.8 (6.0 kL)
|Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and related wastes||
|Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs)||
|Imported PCBs||10 000 - 20 000 tonnes|
|Lighting capacitors||2200 tonnes|
|Environment||3500 - 7000 tonnes|
|ESI: incineration||700 tonnes|
|ESI: current stocks||114 tonnes|
|Other industry (solid waste)||~ 80 tonnes (2)|
|Other industry (liquid waste)||~ 1500 tonnes(3)|
|Contaminated land||~ 65 tonnes(4)|
|Industrial uses (mining, mineral processing, manufacturing etc)||Probably > 1000 tonnes(5)|
|PCBs sent overseas for destruction (eg transformers, oil)||Probably > 1000 tonnes|
|Concrete and caulking compounds in buildings or deposited in landfill or tips||Unknown, but possibly thousands of tonnes|
(1) Source: Impact Assessment for the Proposed PCB Management Plan (Atkins et al, 1995)
(2) Assume average contamination is at 5000 ppm
(3) Based on ESAA's calculation for 116 kilolitres of pure PCB waste
(4) Assume average contamination is at 500 ppm
(5) Based on very rough anecdotal evidence
|Summary||Chapter 3 - Treatment Technologies|