Steel slag (SS) is one of byproduct of steel manufacture industry. The environmental concerns of SS may limit their re-use in different applications. The goal of this study was to investigate the leaching behavior of metals from SS before and after treated by microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP). Toxicity characteristic leaching procedure, synthetic precipitation leaching procedure and water leaching tests were performed to evaluate the leaching behavior of major elements (Fe, Mg and Ca) and trace elements (Ba, Cu and Mn) in three scenarios. The concentrations of leaching metals increased with the content of SS. After it reached the peak concentration, the leaching concentration decreased with the content of SS. The leachability of all elements concerned in this study was below 0.5%. The carbonate generated from the MICP process contributed to the low leachability of metals. After bio-modified by MICP process, the leaching concentrations of Ba from TCLP, SPLP and WLT tests were below 2.0 mg/L, which was the limit in drinking water regulated by U.S. EPA. The concentrations of Cu leached out from MICP-treated SS-sand samples were below 1.3 mg/L which is the limit regulated by national secondary drinking water. Compared with the regulations of U.S.EPA and Mississippi Department of Environment Quality (MDEQ), MICP-treated samples were classified as non-hazardous materials with respects to the leaching of metals. Meanwhile, maximum contaminant limits regulated by U.S.EPA states that MICP-treated SS are eco-friendly materials that can be reused as construction materials.
Junke Zhang, Peidong Su, Yadong Li, Lin Li, "Environmental investigation of bio-modification of steel slag through microbially induced carbonate precipitation", Journal of Environmental Sciences, Volume 101, 2021, Pages 282-292, ISSN 1001-0742, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2020.08.023.