Decision support for environmental management of industrial non-hazardous secondary materials: New analytical methods combined with simulation and optimization modeling
Non-hazardous solid materials from industrial processes, once regarded as waste and disposed in landfills, offer numerous environmental and economic advantages when put to beneficial uses (BUs). Proper management of these industrial non-hazardous secondary materials (INSM) requires estimates of their probable environmental impacts among disposal as well as BU options. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently approved new analytical methods (EPA Methods 1313-1316) to assess leachability of constituents of potential concern in these materials. These new methods are more realistic for many disposal and BU options than historical methods, such as the toxicity characteristic leaching protocol. Experimental data from these new methods are used to parameterize a chemical fate and transport (F&T) model to simulate long-term environmental releases from flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG) when disposed of in an industrial landfill or beneficially used as an agricultural soil amendment. The F&T model is also coupled with optimization algorithms, the Beneficial Use Decision Support System (BUDSS), under development by EPA to enhance INSM management. Published by Elsevier Ltd.