Development of a Framework for Evaluation of Leaching from Solid Waste

EPA Grant Number: R825511C013
Subproject: this is subproject number 013 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825511
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - Northeast HSRC
Center Director: Sidhu, Sukh S.
Title: Development of a Framework for Evaluation of Leaching from Solid Waste
Investigators: Kosson, David S. , Sanchez, Florence , Gulgule, Urshila
Institution: Rutgers , Vanderbilt University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: June 1, 1999 through May 31, 2001
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Substance Research Centers , Land and Waste Management


Currently, characterization of leaching of solid wastes is accomplished using the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP). Two of the many ways that TCLP testing results are used is for assessment of the effectiveness of treatment processes and the determination of whether wastes are considered "hazardous" (RCRA subtitle C) or "non-hazardous" (RCRA subtitle D). Assessment of treatment processes includes both conformance with best-demonstrated available technology (BDAT) and establishing process performance for a determination of equivalent treatment (DET), which allows use of treatment methods other than established BDAT. In addition, leaching tests are used to assess remediation endpoints of contaminated soils and the environmental acceptability of utilization of secondary materials (e.g., slags, ash) in construction applications. In 1991 and 1999, the science advisory board (SAB) for USEPA reviewed TCLP and its predecessor, the extraction procedure toxicity test (EP Toxicity) and found substantial shortcomings associated with both procedures. These limitations included absence of consideration of the underlying mechanisms that control leaching, field validation, and multiple miss management scenarios. As a result, the SAB recommended review of the current procedures, state of leaching science and consideration of greater flexibility in leach testing, consideration of additional parameters that may effect leaching in the field, and consideration of a wider variety of waste management scenarios. Leaching protocols that address the limitations of the TCLP have been under development through coordinated parallel efforts in the United States and Europe. These protocols have been based on measurement of intrinsic leaching properties of a material and using the testing results in conjunction with assumed management scenarios and mass transfer models to estimate release of constituents of potential concern (COPC) over a defined time period. The intrinsic leaching parameters considered are the COPC fraction in the material available for release ("availability"), solubility as a function of pH, acid and base neutralization capacity, and mass transfer rates. The specific objectives of this research are to (i) further develop a framework for evaluating leaching of wastes that provides a uniform and flexible assessment approach for range of waste management scenarios, (ii) further develop and provide protocols for test methods to be used in the leaching assessment framework, (iii) evaluate the leaching assessment framework by applying the specified test methods to several prototype wastes, and (iv) carry out coordination of the assessment framework development with parallel efforts occurring on behalf of the European Community.


The following major tasks have been identified for this project:
1. Development of the assessment framework based on consideration of (i) quantity of waste to be managed, (ii) waste or material characteristics (e.g., inorganic, organic and volatile constituents of potential concern), (iii) management scenario (e.g., monofill, co-disposal of industrial wastes, utilization as a secondary material, unrestricted use) and influence of external stresses (e.g., acidification, intermittent wetting), and (iv) assessment time and cost requirements.
2. Development of the specific test procedures considering (i) sample mass and extraction time as a function of particle size, (ii) liquid to solid ratio or liquid to surface area ratio required to achieve desired end-state (e.g., equilibrium or dynamic testing) and contact mode, (iii) materials compatibility with contaminants, (iv) determination of potentially mobile organic phases, and (v) practical aspects for commercial implementation.
3. Laboratory testing on approximately 6 prototype wastes provided by USEPA and selected to represent a broad range of waste characteristics and potentially "difficult to evaluate" or "high priority" waste types.
4. Chemical analyses of solid samples and laboratory extracts generated during the protocol testing.
5. Data management and interpretation.

Expected Results:

The use of testing results from leaching protocols based on measurement of intrinsic leaching properties of a material in conjunction with mass transfer models allows comparison of estimated release for a variety of management scenarios, including consideration of local conditions (e.g., infiltration and site-specific design) and direct comparison of different treatment processes under diverse potential environmental conditions (e.g., over a range of field pHs). Thus, the new leaching test framework would facilitate greater flexibility and more appropriate options for waste management. Although testing costs would initially increase, overall waste management costs would decrease if the regulatory implementation of the framework allowed for more cost effective management options while maintaining environmental protection. In many cases, environmental protection would be improved because testing results would allow decisions based on realistic estimates of constituent leaching rather than on test results with little significance relative to the actual management scenario. Treatment processes would focus on decreasing actual release rather than passing an arbitrary test. Use of testing that provides realistic release estimates also would facilitate improved risk assessment for this exposure pathway.

This research provides a unique opportunity to evaluate an alternative-testing framework on a broad range of wastes, potentially "difficult to evaluate" or "high priority" waste types, including inorganic species with different leaching behaviors (e.g., As, Cr, Pb, Zn), organic species (e.g., PAHs, PCPs), oily phases and different solid matrices (e.g., contaminated soil/wood chips, production wastes, stabilized wastes).

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 1 publications for this subprojectView all 131 publications for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

TCLP, Leaching, Solid Wastes, Heavy Metals., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Municipal, Environmental Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Environmental Monitoring, Ecological Risk Assessment, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, hazardous waste disposal, hazardous waste management, fate and transport , leachate charcterization, evaluation of leaching, solid waste, toxicity testing leaching procedure, arsenic, solid material residuals

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825511    HSRC (1989) - Northeast HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825511C001 Development of Mechanisms and Kinetic Models on Formation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Dibenzofurans from Aromatic Precursors
    R825511C002 Real-Time Monitoring and Control of Emissions from Stationary Combustors and Incinerators
    R825511C003 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C004 Investigation into the Effectiveness of DNAPL Remediation Strategies in Fractured Media
    R825511C005 Advanced Leak Detection and Location Research: Extending the SERDP-funded Technical Base
    R825511C006 Three-Dimensional Geostatistical Site Characterization with Updating
    R825511C007 Anaerobic Biodegradation of PAHs in Soils and Dredged Sediments: Characterizing, Monitoring and Promoting Remediation
    R825511C008 Substrate Accelerated Death and Extended Lag Phases as Causes of the Recalcitrance of Halogenated Compounds in Anoxic Environments
    R825511C009 Fate and Transport of Nonionic Surfactants
    R825511C010 In Situ Degradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons and PAHs in Contaminated Salt Marsh Sediments
    R825511C011 Design and Operation of Surfactant-Enhanced Bioslurry Reactors
    R825511C012 Experimental Study of Overland Transport of Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts
    R825511C013 Development of a Framework for Evaluation of Leaching from Solid Waste
    R825511C014 Use of a New Leaching Test Framework for Evaluating Alternative Treatment Processes for Mercury Contaminated Mixed Waste (Hazardous and Radioactive)
    R825511C015 Field Pilot Test of In Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil
    R825511C016 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C017 Field Demonstration of the Use of Reactive Zero-Valence Iron Powder to Treat Source Zone Sites Impacted by Halogenated Volatile Organic Chemicals
    R825511C018 Technology Transfer of Continuous Non-Methane Organic Carbon (C-NMOC) Analyzer
    R825511C019 Field Sampling and Treatability Study for In-Situ Remediation of PCB's and Leachable Lead with Iron Powder
    R825511C020 Experimental and Modeling Studies of Chlorocarbon Incineration, PIC Formation, and Emissions Control
    R825511C021 Experimental Studies and Numerical Modeling of Turbulent Combustion During Thermal Treatment of Hazardous Wastes: Applied Research for the Generation of Design and Diagnostic Tools
    R825511C022 Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metals in Groundwater - Phase IV
    R825511C023 Novel Molecular Tools for Monitoring In-Situ Bioremediation
    R825511C024 Surfactant-Enhanced Bioremediation of Soils in the Presence of an Organic Phase
    R825511C025 Enhanced Microbial Dechlorination of PCBs and Dioxins in Contaminated Dredge Spoils
    R825511C026 Toward A Risk-Based Model for Bioremediation of Multicomponent NAPL Contaminants
    R825511C027 Removal and Recovery of VOCs and Oils from Surfactant-Flushed Recovered Water by Membrane Permeation
    R825511C029 Field Pilot Test of In-Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil in Cooperation with McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineers at the Hillsborough, NJ Site
    R825511C030 In-Situ Field Test of Electroremediation of a Chromate-Contaminated Site in Hudson County, New Jersey
    R825511C031 Electrokinetic Removal of Heavy Metals and Mixed Hazardous Wastes from Partially and Fully Saturated Soils
    R825511C032 Effects of Clay Charge and Confining Stresses on Soil Remediation by Electroosmosis
    R825511C033 Assessment of Surfactant Enhanced Bioremediation for Soils/Aquifers Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
    R825511C034 In-Situ Bioremediation of Organic Compounds: Coupling of Mass Transfer and Biodegradation
    R825511C035 Investigation into the Effectiveness of DNAPL Remediation Strategies in Fractured Media
    R825511C036 Field Pilot Scale Demonstration of Trench Bio-Sparge: An In-Situ Groundwater Treatment Technology
    R825511C037 In-Situ Reductive Dehalogenation of Aliphatic Compounds by Fermentative Heterotrophic Bacteria
    R825511C038 The Effect of Carbon-Nitrogen Ratios on Bacterial Transport and Biodegradation Rates In Soils
    R825511C039 Ultrasonic Enhancement of Soil Fracturing Technologies for In-Situ Detoxification of Contaminated Soil
    R825511C040 Full Field Demonstration of Integrated Pneumatic Fracturing and In-Situ Bioremediation
    R825511C041 Determination of Adsorption and Desorption Behavior of Petroleum Products on Soils
    R825511C042 Evaluation of the Potential for Complete Bioremediation of NAPL-Contaminated Soils Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
    R825511C043 Characterization of Subsurface NAPL Distributions at Heterogeneous Field Sites
    R825511C044 Development of a Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatograph/Microwave Induced Plasma/Mass Spectrometer (TDGC/MIP/MS) for On-site Analysis of Organic and Metal Contaminants
    R825511C045 Using Trainable Networks for a Three-dimensional Characterization of Subsurface Contamination
    R825511C046 Application of Advanced Waste Characterization to Soil Washing and Treatment
    R825511C047 Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metals in Groundwater Phase III
    R825511C048 Improved Luminescence Sensors for Oxygen Measurement
    R825511C049 Preconcentration, Speciation and Determination of Dissolved Heavy Metals in Natural Waters, using Ion Exchange and Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry
    R825511C050 Experimental and Modeling Studies of Chlorocarbon Incineration and PIC Formation
    R825511C051 PIC Emission Minimization: Fundamentals and Applications
    R825511C052 Project Title: Development of a Two Stage, Pulse Combustion, VOC Destruction Technology
    R825511C053 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C054 FTIR Analysis of Gaseous Products from Hazardous Waste Combustion
    R825511C055 Toxic Metals Volatilization for Waste Separation and Real-time Metals Analyses
    R825511C056 Mixed Metal Removal and Recovery by Hollow Fiber Membrane-Based Extractive Adsorber
    R825511C057 Removal of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from Contaminated Groundwater and Soils by Pervaporation
    R825511C058 Simultaneous SO2/NO Removal/Recovery by Hollow Fiber Membrane
    R825511C059 Superfund Sites and Mineral Industries Method
    R825511C060 Soil Washing of Mixed Organics/Metal Contamination
    R825511C061 Removal of Cesium, Strontium, Americium, Technetium and Plutonium from Radioactive Wastewater
    R825511C062 Development of a Method for Removal of Nonvolatile Organic Materials from Soil using Flotation
    R825511C063 Recovery of Evaporative Fuel Losses by Vapor Permeation Membranes
    R825511C064 Surfactant Selection Protocol for Ex Situ Soil Washing
    R825511C065 Biofiltration for the Control of Toxic Industrial VOCs Emissions
    R825511C066 Catalytic Oxidation of Volatile Organic Compounds in Water
    R825511C067 Soil Washing for Remediating Metal Contaminated Soils
    R825511C068 Aqueous Absorption and Kinetics of NO by Strong Oxidizing Agents
    R825511C069 Remediation of Dredging Spoils
    R825511C070 Freeze Concentration for Zero-Effluent Processes
    R825511C071 Life Cycle/Pollution Prevention Response to Executive Order 12856
    R825511C072 Faster Better, Cheaper Hazardous Waste Site Characterization and Cleanup: an Adaptive Sampling and Analysis Strategy Employing Dynamic Workplans
    R825511C073 Development of a Comprehensive Computer Model for the Pneumatic Fracturing Process
    R825511C074 Technology Demonstration and Validation of CFAST Field Analytical Instrumentation for Use in Hazardous Waste Site Characterization, Clean-up and Monitoring
    R825511C075 XFLOW: Training Software Simulating Contaminant Site Characterization and Remediation