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Justin Roessler

University of Florida, Ph.D.
EREF Scholar 2014

Exploring Opportunties For The Beneficial Use of Waste to Energy Ash

Project Description (while EREF Scholar):
Beneficial use of waste materials can be defined as the use of a waste as an ingredient in a product or process. Large volume waste materials such as coal ash, water treatment sludge, and biosolids have all been reused in applications within the United States. The use of these wastes not only provides a benefit to the environment by creating a reduction in landfilling, but also through the elimination of the footprint associated with the manufacture of the otherwise used material. The combustion of waste for energy recovery, or waste to energy (WTE) is a proven method for the generation of electricity and the volume reduction of municipal solid waste (MSW). 29 million tons of MSW were combusted at 86 facilities throughout the United States in 2011, producing approximately 5 million tons of ash.1 In the United States the two generated residuals, WTE fly and bottom ash are mixed and disposed of in secure landfills. However, beneficial use of WTE bottom ash is common practice in a number of European and Asian countries.

Reuse of WTE ash in the United States has been limited by a number of factors including incomplete scientific data on the chemical behavior of WTE ash in beneficial use applications, and the lack of innovative research focused on methods to improve performance of WTE bottom ash in these scenarios. The focus of Justin’s research is to examine the potential for the use of WTE bottom ash in road construction applications. This research is ongoing through a partnership between the University of Florida and the Pasco County Solid Waste Department. Justin’s research focuses on the construction of a series of roadway test strips using WTE bottom ash as an ingredient in the roadway; as well as civil and environmental testing on the ash and ash amended products to assess leaching characteristics and strength properties. Additionally further and groundwater, leachate, and roadway stress monitoring at the site will be conducted. This research will provide interested parties with essential information on the possibilities of using WTE ash in road construction.

1“Energy Recovery from Waste | Municipal Solid Waste.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.

Originally from Columbus, Ohio Justin graduated cum laude from the University of Florida with his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering in 2012. While an undergraduate, Justin worked internationally in the Caribbean designing and operating desalinization systems. Following graduation he began his Ph.D at the University of Florida in the Solid and Hazardous Waste Management research group under the direction of Dr. Timpthy Townsend. Justin has worked on a number of projects related to the beneficial use of waste materials with members of the industry, local municipalities, and state regulatory agencies.

Due to Justin’s work with the University of Florida and Pasco County, the county approved the use of waste to energy (WTE) bottom ash in roadway construction in early 2015. He has also authored and co-authored several peer reviewed publications.

In his free time Justin enjoys playing golf, basketball, and spending time outdoors.