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Radiometrical and physico-chemical characterisation of contaminated glass waste from a glass dump in Sweden

Journal article
Authors R. N. Mutafela
Juan Mantero
Y. Jani
Rimon Thomas
Elis Holm
W. Hogland
Published in Chemosphere
Volume 241
ISSN 0045-6535
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Language en
Keywords Dose rates, Fine fraction, Glass waste, NORM, Physico-chemical characterisation, Risk assessment, Environmental Protection Agency, Fluorine compounds, Glass, Hazardous materials, Hazards, Leaching, Organic carbon, Radioactive materials, Recycling, Storage (materials), Dose rate, Glass wastes, Physico-chemicals, Pollution, arsenic, cadmium, dissolved organic matter, fluoride, lead, potassium 40, radioactive material, thorium 232, uranium 238, zinc, zinc ion, concentration (composition), dose-response relationship, environmental risk, fractionation, hazardous waste, industrial emission, physicochemical property, radiometric survey, waste disposal, Article, environmental radioactivity, glass industry, moisture, particle size, pH, physicochemical model, radiation dose, radioactive waste, radioactivity, radiometry, Sweden, X ray fluorescence
Subject categories Radiological physics


Around former glass factories in south eastern Sweden, there are dozens of dumps whose radioactivity and physico-chemical properties were not investigated previously. Thus, radiometric and physico-chemical characteristics of waste at Madesjö glass dump were studied to evaluate pre-recycling storage requirements and potential radiological and environmental risks. The material was sieved, hand-sorted, leached and scanned with X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF). External dose rates and activity concentrations of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials from 238U, 232Th series and 40K were also measured coupled with a radiological risk assessment. Results showed that the waste was 95% glass and dominated by fine fractions (<11.3 mm) at 43.6%. The fine fraction had pH 7.8, 2.6% moisture content, 123 mg kg−1 Total Dissolved Solids, 37.2 mg kg−1 Dissolved Organic Carbon and 10.5 mg kg−1 fluorides. Compared with Swedish EPA guidelines, the elements As, Cd, Pb and Zn were in hazardous concentrations while Pb leached more than the limits for inert and non-hazardous wastes. With 40K activity concentration up to 3000 Bq kg−1, enhanced external dose rates of 40K were established (0.20 μSv h−1) although no radiological risk was found since both External Hazard Index (Hex) and Gamma Index (Iγ) were <1. The glass dump needs remediation and storage of the waste materials under a safe hazardous waste class ‘Bank Account’ storage cell as a secondary resource for potential future recycling. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd

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