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Environmental impact of ferrochrome slag in road construction
Swedish Geotechnical Institute, Regional Office Göteborg, Chalmers Vasa, Building 5, SE-412 96 Göteborg, Sweden.
Swedish Geotechnical Institute, Regional Office Göteborg, Chalmers Vasa, Building 5, SE-412 96 Göteborg, Sweden.
2001 (English)In: Waste Management, ISSN 0956-053X, Vol. 21, no 3, 255-264 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Vargon Alloys in Western Sweden is one of the largest producers of ferrochrome slag in Europe. Ferrochrome slag is a by-product from the production of ferrochrome, an essential component in stainless steel. Extensive tests have been carried out on the physical properties of the ferrochrome slag from Vargon Alloys and it was found to be highly suitable as road construction material. The composition and leaching tests of the ferrochrome slag show that the chromium content is high, 1-3%, although leaching under normal conditions is very low. With the exception of potassium (K), which had a potential leaching capacity (availability test) of around 16%, the leaching of chromium, nickel, zinc and other elements was just a few per cent. However, all these tests were conducted in the laboratory. What happens out in the field, under the influence of acid rain and biological activity, and how does this compare with the laboratory results? To answer this question an investigation was carried out to study the environmental impact of ferrochrome slag in roads that were built in 1994. The investigation includes soil sampling (total content and leachable amounts of metals) and groundwater analysis (filtered and non-filtered samples). In addition, a new method involving the bio-uptake of chromium and other metals by the roots of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) was tested. The results show that there was a low migration of particles from the slag to the underlying soil and that the leaching into the groundwater was also low for all the elements analysed. However, there seemed to be a significant uptake of Cr by plants growing with their roots in the slag. An investigation of plant uptake was an important complement to laboratory leaching tests on alternative materials. Copyright (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.Vargon Alloys in Western Sweden is one of the largest producers of ferrochrome slag in Europe. Ferrochrome slag is a by-product from the production of ferrochrome, an essential component in stainless steel. Extensive tests have been carried out on the physical properties of the ferrochrome slag from Vargon Alloys and it was found to be highly suitable as road construction material. The composition and leaching tests of the ferrochrome slag show that the chromium content is high, 1-3%, although leaching under normal conditions is very low. With the exception of potassium (K), which had a potential leaching capacity (availability test) of around 16%, the leaching of chromium, nickel, zinc and other elements was just a few per cent. However, all these tests were conducted in the laboratory. What happens out in the field, under the influence of acid rain and biological activity, and how does this compare with the laboratory results? To answer this question an investigation was carried out to study the environmental impact of ferrochrome slag in roads that were built in 1994. The investigation includes soil sampling (total content and leachable amounts of metals) and groundwater analysis (filtered and non-filtered samples). In addition, a new method involving the bio-uptake of chromium and other metals by the roots of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) was tested. The results show that there was a low migration of particles from the slag to the underlying soil and that the leaching into the groundwater was also low for all the elements analyzed. However, there seemed to be a significant uptake of Cr by plants growing with their roots in the slag. An investigation of plant uptake was an important complement to laboratory leaching tests on alternative materials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 21, no 3, 255-264 p.
Keyword [en]
Chromium, Dandelion roots, Environmental impact, Ferrochrome slag, Metal release, Plant uptake
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-47372DOI: 10.1016/S0956-053X(00)00098-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-47372DiVA: diva2:268268
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11

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