Chapter 6 7 transitional technologies
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Chapter 6.7 Transitional technologies. Evolution of a hazardous waste management system. INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS. LEGISLATION. FACILITIES. IMPLEMENTATION & ENFORCEMENT. SUPPORTSERVICES. STAKEHOLDERS. Source: David C Wilson 1993, 1999.

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Chapter 6.7 Transitional technologies

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Chapter 6.7 Transitional technologies

TRP Chapter 6.7 1

Evolution of a hazardous waste management system








Source: David C Wilson 1993, 1999

TRP Chapter 6.7 2

How to begin developing a hazardous waste management system?

  • First:

  • Understand how HWM systems are put together

  • Compare and contrast different national approaches

  • Understand the existing local system

  • Then:

  • Choose the ‘best of the rest’ from around the world

  • Adapt these to local needs and circumstances

  • Build a unique local system

TRP Chapter 6.7 3

How easy will the journey be for a developing economy?


ability to learn from experience and mistakes of industrialised countries in last 20-25 years

  • Disadvantages:

  • lack of funds

  • lack of awareness

  • lack of skills

  • lack of infrastructure

TRP Chapter 6.7 4

The implementation conundrum

No hazardous waste treatment facilities = no controls over hazardous waste generators

No controls = no waste to treatment facilities

  • High costs exacerbate problem

  • eg Hong Kong facility cost >US $150 million

  • Finance:

  • beyond capacity of most governments in developing economies

  • needs to come from private sector or international lending body

  • needs government assurance

TRP Chapter 6.7 5

Taking the first steps

  • Long lead time: timeframe between recognising problem and having treatment and disposal facility for hazardous wastes is 5-10 years

  • Need to win political support for:

    • imposing extra burden on industry

    • siting facility

    • carrying out EIA

    • obtaining planning permission

    • dealing with local opposition (not-in-my-back-yard or NIMBY syndrome)

  • It is better to do something now than to investigate for too long

TRP Chapter 6.7 6

Useful first steps

  • Document and quantify problem

  • Designate and train responsible staff

  • Control water pollution and solid wastes

  • Introduce interim treatment/disposal measures

  • Address early measures for waste minimisation

  • Raise public/political awareness

  • Obtain appropriate independent advice

TRP Chapter 6.7 7

Transitional Technologies used by industrialised countries 1

Source: David C Wilson 1993

TRP Chapter 6.7 8

Transitional technologies used by industrialised countries 2

  • No longer available:

    • dumping at sea

    • incineration at sea

    • exportto developed countriesfor treatment and disposal - increasingly more difficult under the terms of the Basel Convention

    • co-disposal of hazardous wastes with municipal solid wastes

      • already banned in many countries

      • being phased out under the terms of EU Landfill Directive

TRP Chapter 6.7 9

Advantages of transitional technologies

  • Identification of waste generators

  • Raised awareness

  • Improved information for planning

  • Experience for managers and control staff

  • Reduced temptation to dispose improperly

TRP Chapter 6.7 10

Overcoming the disadvantages of transitional technologies

  • Set firm deadlines on use

  • Segregate wastes

  • Control after-use

  • Maintain good operational control

  • Keep records

  • Ban imports

TRP Chapter 6.7 11

Examples of transitional technologies1 Short term measures

  • Export

  • Encapsulation

  • Solar evaporation

TRP Chapter 6.7 12

Examples of transitional technologies2 Low cost longer term measures

  • Waste avoidance and minimisation

  • Simple chemical treatment

  • Fuel blending for cement kiln incineration

TRP Chapter 6.7 13

Examples of transitional technologies3 Medium term measures

  • Co-combustion in existing furnaces

  • Co-disposal in municipal solid waste landfill sites

  • Simple cement-based solidification

TRP Chapter 6.7 14

Early measures for waste minimisation

TRP Chapter 6.7 15

Source: David C Wilson 1993

Export (to a developed country)

  • Only acceptable:

    • In the short term

    • On a small scale

    • To properly managed and operated ‘high tech’ facilities

  • Example: PCBs for high temperature incineration from Middle East to UK

TRP Chapter 6.7 16


  • Short term option only

  • Suitable for high hazard waste

  • Pack securely in metal drums

  • Cast in fours in metal drums

  • Label, keep records

TRP Chapter 6.7 17

Solar evaporation

  • Useful for drying aqueous sludges

  • Use depends on climate and season

  • Strictly as short term option, in isolated areas under controlled conditions, has been used for small quantities of volatile organic solvents eg Arabian desert

TRP Chapter 6.7 18

Co-combustion in existing industrial furnaces

  • Beware air pollution problems

  • Do not use in domestic boilers

  • Do not use in cooking

  • Use in industrial boilers with care

  • Best option is use in cement kiln

TRP Chapter 6.7 19


  • Controlled mixing of selected hazardous wastes in sanitary landfill

  • Aims at biodegradation of organic constituents in hazardous waste

  • Can also attentuate concentrations of non-organic constituents


    • Proper sanitary landfill for MSW

    • Good management and control

    • Restricted range of acceptable wastes

    • Restricted loading rates

TRP Chapter 6.7 20

Cement-based solidification

Source: David C Wilson 1990

TRP Chapter 6.7 21

Cement-based solidification -case studies

  • Brisbane, Australia:

  • Simple solidification in clay cells at a landfill site

  • facility in operation since 1982

  • solidification of liquid hazardous wastes with fly ash and cement kiln dust

  • wastes treated in clay cells in a separate area at landfill

  • Cape Town, South Africa:

  • Incorporation of tetraethyl lead (TEL) sludges in concrete

  • special precautions to protect workers

  • blended concrete used for road on landfill site

  • process carried out during dry summer months

TRP Chapter 6.7 22

Simple physico-chemical treatment

  • Physico-chemical treatment is part of a long-term solution

  • Technologies are simple and cost-effective

  • Easy to operate and maintain

  • Simplest plants use batch operation


TRP Chapter 6.7 23

Simple physico-chemical treatment - case study

Bangkok treatment facility

Source: David C Wilson

TRP Chapter 6.7 24

Co-combustion in cement kilns

  • Can be used as interim treatment method while dedicated waste treatment facilities being developed, as well as a long term solution

  • Useful in countries with established cement industry, operational cement kilns

  • Offers reduced fuel costs for cement production

  • Large capacity

  • Suited for various waste types

  • Constraints:

  • lack of trained personnel

  • concerns of cement kiln operators

  • cost and sophistication of trial burns

  • lack of detailed technical data on each facility

  • anxiety about accident risks

  • about accident risks

TRP Chapter 6.7 25

How to move from transitional solutions to long term ones

  • Ensure the use of short and medium term solutions are brought to an end by imposing a time limit

  • Tighten permit conditions gradually

  • Use landfill fees to fund new technologies

  • Make sure the public is aware of the issues

  • Landfill has a strategic role during the transition

TRP Chapter 6.7 26

Chapter 6.7 Summary

  • Developing an integrated hazardous waste management system is complex, takes time, money and political support

  • Developing economies have advantages and disadvantages, but need to start somewhere

  • Transitional technologies offer solutions but have drawbacks

  • Some are short term, some medium term

  • Some longer term, but low cost

  • Need to move gradually from transitional technolgies to long term ones

TRP Chapter 6.7 27

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