Rapid and Cost-Effective Approach to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Wastewater and Treatment Byproduct Solidification and Stabilization

Investigators: University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University & EPRI

Start Date:
Mar 2019

Award Amount:

Disposal of residual industrial waste streams and treatment byproducts (WTBs) presents many challenges for approaching zero liquid discharge. Solidification/stabilization (S/S) using combinations of additives such as lime, portland cement, and coal combustion residuals (e.g. fly ash) can provide a final disposal option. The solidified waste can be landfilled, where encapsulation of the contaminants prevents leaching into landfill leachate collection systems and ground water. Successful mixture designs will likely depend on the composition, pH, and contaminants of concern in the liquid wastes, and a strategy for S/S of wastewater across industries is needed. Further, the success of a S/S strategy to prevent leaching of contaminants is often approached using methods that do not effectively evaluate the chemical stability of solidified materials, especially when several S/S methods are to be compared, which hinders the progress of new developments in material designs.

The overall goal of this project is to develop streamlined processes for solidifying brines and testing the solidified materials that are rapid, cost-effective, relevant, accessible and user-friendly for industry researchers. The objectives are:

  1. To develop a method to efficiently design mixtures to solidify industrial wastewater and leachates using additives (fly ash, lime, portland cement).
  2. To develop and test a better method for leaching assessment of monolithic specimens that also captures hydraulic conductivity (permeability), a crucial encapsulation physical property.