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A new reference material for the analysis of fly ash


Incineration of waste produces a range of potentially harmful residues like ashes and slags. These solid residues may be processed for use in concrete or road construction in case they do not release toxic elements into the environment. Therefore, before processing it is necessary to analyse the content of e.g. heavy metals in the fly ash. The Directive 2000/76/EC on incineration of waste also requires measurements of heavy metals in air emissions and water discharges. A large fraction of the heavy metals in the air emissions and water discharges are present as particulate matter and similar analytical methods as for fly ash can be used.

IRMM has now released for distribution a new certified reference material for the analysis of fly ash. This reference material can be used for quality assurance of measurements of heavy metals in fly ash and other similar matrices. The new material is coded BCR-176R and replaces its exhausted predecessor, BCR-176. It was prepared from a fly ash collected in the electrostatic filters of a city waste incineration plant. The new material has been certified for its content of As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Tl and Zn. In addition, indicative values have been established for Hg, Mn and V. Characterisation was performed by an interlaboratory comparison, and the material has undergone homogeneity and stability tests before release.

Source: Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM)