Asbestos treatment technologies

  • Valerio PaoliniEmail author
  • Laura Tomassetti
  • Marco Segreto
  • Daniele Borin
  • Flavia Liotta
  • Marco Torre
  • Francesco Petracchini


The use of asbestos was banned because of the carcinogenic properties of its fibres, but asbestos-containing wastes are still present in great amounts. They are currently landfilled or encapsulated with resins, but these approaches led to the release of fibres in the environment. Hence, the destruction of asbestos fibres is now regarded as a preferable option. This study aims at reviewing the currently available technologies for the destruction of asbestos fibres, considering thermal, chemical and mechanochemical processes. The considered thermal treatments include both standard vitrification and thermal treatments with controlled recrystallization. Advantages and applications of the addition of other inorganic materials are described, and the use of microwaves and oxyhydrogen as heat carrier are discussed in full details. The best practices for chemical treatments based on strong acidic or basic solutions are reported, as well as the use of fluorine. This study also investigates the reaction of asbestos with reducing agents in the self-propagating high-temperature syntheses and the use of supercritical water in a hydrothermal treatment. Mechanochemical processes such as high-energy milling are also reviewed. A comparison is given in terms of energy costs, consumption of chemicals, emissions and final use of obtained byproducts.


Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) Microwave Supercritical water 



This work was supported by the Italian Ministry of Environment and Land and Sea Protection, General Direction for Waste and Pollution (MATTM-DGRIN), under the Agreement RINDEC-20016-4 of November 25th 2015, with the Institute for Atmospheric Pollution Research of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR IIA), entitled “Development of a novel methodology for asbestos inertization, emission abatement and analysis of the supply chain”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research Council of ItalyInstitute of Atmospheric Pollution ResearchMonterotondoItaly

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