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ADVANCES IN ENCAPSULATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF MERCURY-CONTAMINATED HAZARDOUS WASTES
Chattopadhyay, S., W. E. Condit, AND P M. Randall*. ADVANCES IN ENCAPSULATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF MERCURY-CONTAMINATED HAZARDOUS WASTES. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-02/081 (NTIS PB2003-101801), 2003.
Although industrial and commercial uses of mercury have been curtailed in recent times, there is a demonstrated need for the development of reliable hazardous waste management techniques because of ongoing hazardous waste generation and historic operations that have led to significant contamination. The focus of this report is on the current state of encapsulation technologies and materials being used to immobilize elemental mercury, mercury-containing debris, and other mercury-contaminated wastes, soils, or sludges. The range of encapsulation materials used in bench-scale, pilot-scale, and full-scale applications for mercury-containing wastes are summarized in this report. Several studies have been completed regarding the application of sulfur polymer stabilization/solidification, chemically bonded phosphate ceramic encapsulation, and polyethylene encapsulation. Other technologies or materials reported in the literature or under development for encapsulation include asphalt, polyester resins, synthetic elastomers, polysiloxane, sol-gels (e.g., polycerams), and DolocreteTM. The objective of these encapsulation methods is primarily to physically immobilize hazardous wastes to prevent contact with leaching agents such as water. These methods may also include a stabilization step to chemically fix mercury into a highly insoluble form. Economic information relating to the use of these materials is provided, along with available vendor information. Future technology development and research needs are also discussed.