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Agnieszka Poniatowska, Dorota Andrzejewska-Górecka, Bartłomiej Macherzyński, Monika Kisiel
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Poland
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Abstract
Negative impact of products including asbestos and asbestos wastes on human health comes from asbestos’ needle-like, fibrous structure. To terminate its negative influence on the environment, including human health, processes aimed at its destruction should be conducted. Basing on available literature one can ascertain that only chemical and thermal methods of asbestos fibers translation cause the ensuing waste to be health neutral. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the influence of temperature and time on asbestos decomposition and determine if the asbestos fiber structure is damaged at high temperatures. In the first stage of heating cement-asbestos slates, the physicochemical processes occurring in the material under investigation will involve dewatering, i.e. removal of adsorptive, constitutional and crystallizing water, followed by breaking down the chrysotile structure and destruction of its brucate layers, finally crystallization of the forsterite and later its disintegration into silica and periclase. During the sintering of asbestos cement we have an excess of calcium oxide coming from cement components. Chrisotile contained in asbestos cement exorcises during its dissolution silica which merges with calcium oxide from the cement phase. Thus arises bicalcium silicate (larnite), brownmillerite and periclase as a product of chrisotile dissolution. Periclase is therefore formed, magnesium oxide does not bind in silicate because the excess of calcium has the preference for the secondary formation of silicates.  The process of sintering causes its contents to clinkering again, the main component of which is larnite and periclase resulting from the decay of chrysotile asbestos. It causes potential possibilities of using the products of this method to produce cement.

During the tests, in the temperature rises to 1400°C, there is a significant recrystallization of components and the beginning of the crystallization of periclase, which is confirmed by scanning tests, analysis of sample composition in the micro-area and results of phase composition analysis. To sum up, based on the conducted studies of the thermal decomposition of cement-asbestos slates, it can be concluded that sintering it at a temperature of 1400-1500°C leads to the transformation of the fibrous structure of the chrysotile asbestos contained therein. With the use of a method that allows the operation of such temperatures, eliminating the emission of asbestos fibers into the air, subjecting it to thermal treatment, we permanently change its structure and in this way it becomes a mineral indifferent to human health. In addition, the obtained material gives the potential to use products of this method of neutralizing cement-asbestos slates, e.g. in construction. This paper might be the basis for further research of the possibilities of thermal processing of asbestos-containing waste, in which the addition of fluxes to the process, affecting the decomposition temperature of asbestos in cement-asbestos slates can also be considered.

Keywords 
asbestos, asbestos wastes, asbestos cement, thermal decomposition of chrysotile asbestos

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