Waste asbestos from abatement activities at Department of Energy (DOE) facilities is typically (as is most asbestos waste in the United States) disposed of in landfills. However, some of the asbestos from DOE facilities is contaminated with radionuclides, PCBs, metals regulated under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) and perhaps other regulated components that may require treatment instead of landfill disposal. Land disposal of waste is becoming less desirable to the public and does nothing to reduce the toxicity or the continued liability associated with these wastes. Methods for permanent destruction of these wastes are becoming more attractive as a final solution. One of the methods available for the destruction of asbestos-containing wastes is thermochemical conversion technology. ARI Technologies, Inc. was contracted by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to conduct a technology deployment of its thermochemical conversion process. The purpose of the project was to: 1. “Destroy 10,000 lb. of asbestos-containing material (ACM), defined as asbestos fibers and binder by feeding it through an EPA-permitted asbestos destruction technology, such that the resultant materials are no longer considered to be asbestos in accordance with 40 CFR 61.155, Standard for Operation that Convert Asbestos-Containing Waste Materials Into Non-asbestos, and 2. Collect and analyse performance data for the deployed asbestos destruction technology.” In addition to the mandatory objectives, ARI conducted tests on the asbestos that were designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology for immobilization of toxic metals and surrogate radionuclides that are known to be present in DOE asbestos waste. This full-scale technology deployment demonstrated economical asbestos destruction and effective immobilization of lead, cadmium, barium and arsenic. Cerium oxide and non-radioactive cesium were also immobilized. Leach testing using EPA and DOE methods showed that leach performance surpassed regulatory criteria by at least one order of magnitude.

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