Research Results of the
Department of Hydrogeology and Environment

Institute of Geology at the University of Würzburg, Germany
G.I.S based site analysis with regard to a potential deposition of Bottom Ash in the area of Unterfranken (Lower Frankonia, Bavaria, Germany)

Günter Kus

Waste incineration in the Federal Republic of Germany has become an important and environmental conscious link within the waste disposal systems. The thermal process generates a residue called municipal solid waste incineration ash, which has to be disposed or recycled. A complete separation of relevant pollutants (primarily heavy metals) trough the thermal waste treatment is impossible. A environmentally (sustainable) acceptable disposal requires that the incineration ash behaves vastly neutral in a it’s new depositional milieu. Leaching and mobilization of pollutants from the incineration ash mainly depends on environmental conditions. Water budget and hydrogeochemical conditions in the entire depositional system are of fundamental importance. Low water budgets, pH-conditions of carbonate buffer systems and in principle lower hydraulic conductivity provide favorable and stable relations. Therefore, disposal of incineration ash is presumably advantageous where these conditions occur naturally within geological surface lithologies. Using relevant natural site parameters such as average annual runoff or surface carbonate content, several regions of Lower Franconia (Northern Bavaria) were analyzed. Assessment, management, and processing of the spatially diversified data was accomplished using a Geographic Information System (GIS) with database connection. Suitability modeling was achieved by incorporating FUZZY-LOGIC computations. The principle result of the investigation shows that valleys and areas with predominating sandstone lithologies (Spessart, Südrhön, Odenwald) or crystalline rocks (Vorspessart) of high runoff, low carbonate buffering capacities and high permeability are not suitable for incineration ash disposal. In contrast, the greater part of the Mainfränkische Platten are tends to be expedient for disposal due to promising surface geologies and clima.

Project supported by BayForrest (Project F151)

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