During their production, management, and landfilling, bottom (BA) and fly (FA) ashes from municipal solid waste incineration may liberate Fe-bearing, ultrafine particles and easily enter different environmental sinks of the biosphere. We aim to explore a collection of BA and FA samples from Italian incinerators to probe magnetic mineralogy and the fraction of harmful superparamagnetic (SP) nanoparticles (d < 30 nm). X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy observation, temperature- and frequency-dependent magnetometry, and Mossbauer analysis are performed. The integration of information from our rock magnetic and non-magnetic techniques leads us to conclude that the dominant magnetic carrier in our samples is magnetite and its intermediate/impure forms, while sulphides (i.e., monoclinic pyrrhotite) are important ancillary magnetic phases. The SP fraction fluxing from the BA and FA outputs of a single incinerator is detected and estimated in 103 tons/year. This work stresses the need to calibrate the current technologies towards a safer management of combustion ashes and certainly to inform the environmental impact assessment by using a combination of different methods.
Superparamagnetic iron oxides nanoparticles from municipal solid waste incinerators / Funari, V.; Mantovani, L.; Vigliotti, L.; Tribaudino, M.; Dinelli, E.; Braga, R.. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - 621(2018), pp. 687-696. [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.289]