Impacts of secondary generated minerals on mineralogical and physical immobilization of toxic elements were investigated for chelate-treated air pollution control (APC) fly ash of a municipal solid waste incinerator. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation showed that ettringite was generated after the moistening treatment with/without chelate. Although ettringite can incorporate toxic elements into its structure, elemental analysis by energy dispersive X-ray could not find concentrated points of toxic elements in ettringite structure. This implies that mineralogical immobilization of toxic element by the encapsulation to ettringite structure seems to be limited. Physical immobilization was also investigated by SEM observation of the same APC fly ash particles before and after the moistening treatment. The transfer of soluble elements was inhibited only when insoluble minerals such as gypsum were generated and covered the surface of fly ash particles. Neoformed insoluble minerals prevented soluble elements from leaching and transfer. However, such physical immobilization seems to be limited because insoluble mineral formation with surface coverage was monitored only one time of more than 20 observations. Although uncertainty owing to limited samples with limited observations should be considered, this study concludes that mineralogical and physical immobilization of toxic elements by secondary minerals is limited although secondary minerals are always generated on the surface of APC fly ash particles during chelate treatment.
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