Date of Award

Spring 2008

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Kevin Gardner


Granular byproducts of artificial systems, such as municipal solid waste incinerator ash (MSWI) and coal combustion, are limited in re-use applications because of concern for their long-term environmental behavior with particular focus on the release of heavy metals. Understanding the solid phases within these materials and their influence on heavy metal leaching is necessary for development of an approach to potential re-use applications. Application of traditional geomorphologic principles may describe the solid phases of man-made systems and their development over time. This research addresses identification of the solid phases by use of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) techniques. Four samples of MSW ash and pulverized coal fly ash (PCFA) were used in this research. Results suggest a trend of artificial systems developing similarly to natural systems, and the mineralogical development influencing long term leaching of heavy metals.