WEDA Minergy GFT Paper


Courtesy of Minergy Corporation Limited

During the comment period of the 2001 draft of the Lower Fox River Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS), WDNR and Minergy Corp, completed the evaluation of the cost and treatment-effectiveness of a vitrification technology based on standard glass furnace technology, to treat contaminated sediment. The three phases of the study were: I) Mineralogy and sediment characterization; II) Crucible melt and preliminary design engineering; and III) Pilot-scale sediment melt of dewatered dredge material. Phase III was completed in August 2001. During Phase III, approximately 50 tons of dredged and dewatered river sediment was processed through a glass furnace specifically designed and built for treating sediments from the Lower Fox River. This phase clearly showed that the glass furnace technology created a quality glass aggregate material from river sediments. The properties of the glass aggregate were quite positive and were very consistent, producing a hard, dark, granular material with exceptional beneficial re-use potential and value.

All input and waste streams were sampled during the pilot. Testing was preformed for a wide range of chemicals including PCB congeners, dioxan/furans, semivolatile organic compounds, volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals. The glass aggregate was subjected to both ASTM water leaching procedures and SPLP procedures. Results of the testing showed that on a stack basis >99.9999% of the PCB was destroyed, achieving the destruction efficiency required under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The results of the glass aggregate leach testing showed the material passed standards used by WDNR to grant a Low Hazard Exemption from solid waste rules for this material.

Final unit cost will depend on the beneficial re-use of the material and the value in those markets. However, even with a nominal resale value of $2 ton/glass the unit cost for this technology is significantly less that other commercially available thermal treatment technologies. Unit cost for the most effective treatment of the tonnage of sediment estimated to be removed from Operable Units 3 and 4 of the Lower Fox River ranges from $32 to $41/ton dredged and dewatered sediment (assuming 55% solids). This unit cost does not include dredging and dewatering and therefore is functionally equivalent to a tipping fee at a landfill.

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