BIOMASS BOTTOM ASH RECYCLING AS PAVEMENT BASE
Keywords:biomass ash, waste recycling, pavement base, heavy metals, leaching
EU countries agreed upon increasing the use of renewable energy, which strongly stimulates usage of biofuels. Biomass ash is generated as a residue product in large volumes as a result of biomass combustion. Heavy metal content in the ashes is the main hinder for further ash utilization in agriculture, forestry and construction sector. Aim of this study was to assess potential of biomass ash to be used as pavement base, also to evaluate risks associated with heavy metals contained in ash as well as their leaching possibility. Ash elemental analysis showed that biomass was burned efficiently, and organic carbon content in ash samples was below 2%. The limiting trace element was cadmium, which concentration in ash exceeded maximum permissible value, restricting ash recycling in forestry or agriculture. Leaching test showed that there is no threat to the environment when such waste material is used in road construction as base layer. All leaching values were below permissible concentrations or even below ICP detection limits. Compaction tests of layers made from gravel/ash mixtures revealed that biomass ash could be successfully used in road construction industry. Results showed that the strongest mixed layer was from 80% gravel and 20% ash. The compaction of this mixture was the highest, only the second best result showed pure 100% gravel, while the least compacted was 50% ash and 50% gravel mixture.