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The U.S. Department of the Army (DA) is considering treatment and disposal options for hazardous wastes generated at DA facilities that involve solidification processing and landfilling of waste. A rapid test procedure that correlates to critical processing parameters, specifically process additive dosages, is needed for monitoring solidification processing. Candidate testing procedures were evaluated in bench-scale studies for their ability to distinguish between low-, intermediate-, and high-strength formulations of a solidification process. A simple, rapid, and inexpensive test procedure is described that showed promise in bench-scale studies of being a reliable means of real-time monitoring of solidification processing. The procedure uses the cone index (CI) of freshly prepared samples as measured with a cone penetrometer to provide data for a determination of the acceptance or rejection of material before it is actually landfilled. The test procedure involves molding and testing specimens of solidified waste immediately after solidification processing and consists of the following steps: (1) compaction using a standard compaction procedure; (2) determination of CI using standard Department of the Army procedures; and (3) comparison of results with previously established acceptance/rejection criteria. Establishment of acceptance/rejection criteria is based on empirical correlation of CI to specific process/waste formulations that are known to set and cure properly and are, therefore, acceptable for landfilling. Application of the recommended testing procedure to field acceptance testing is discussed. Data from the bench scale evaluation of various testing systems are also presented.
hazardous wastes, solidification, acceptance testing, cone penetrometer, concrete penetrometer, Vicat needle
Ecologist, Environmental Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS