May 2020

The topics are:

  1. Training courses completed via web meetings
  2. HazWasteOnline™ website overhaul
  3. WAC data processing
  4. Updated list of labs that can publish .hwol files
  5. Managing .hwol files and rulebooks
  6. Metal speciation
  7. TPH Research Project

1. Training courses completed via web meetings 

We have moved all our training courses to an online format using a combination of Zoom, Moodle (our educational platform: and of course HazWasteOnline™.  Both our “Dublin” courses in April and a number of in-house courses successfully used this format, so we will be expanding this offering for the rest of 2020. 

2. HazWasteOnline website overhaul

It’s been in our plans for a while now and soon we will be releasing our new look website. With this overhaul we aim to make our website easier to navigate and find the information you’re looking for. Below you can see a sneak peek of the work in progress for our homepage.

3. WAC data processing

We are pleased to announce that the function to process Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) data within HazWasteOnline™ (Professional & Packages Edition only) is available.  You can now assess WAC data (UK or Ireland) and depending on the waste classification, determine whether your data meet the standard Waste Acceptance Criteria for the different classes of landfill. Currently, HazWasteOnline™ implements the national limits for both the UK and Republic of Ireland plus the 3x derogation for UK.  
Data can be imported via the .hwol file from a number of labs (see section 5 below) or entered manually. By default, a Job is considered to contain samples for a single population of waste material. This means that the WAC results are calculated against the waste classification result of the entire Job, meaning that if one sample is hazardous, the rest non-hazardous, the WAC report will only assess the hazardous WAC. This default setting can be changed so that the WAC assessment is on a sample by sample basis; this can be accomplished by deselecting the “All samples in this job constitute a single population” checkbox in a popup dialog.
Below you may see an example of the output for a WAC test presented in the final HazWasteOnline™ output. See our Help wiki for more information.

4. .hwol files

We are pleased to announce that Envirolab is now able to supply our .hwol files to their customers. As with all the .hwol labs, if you haven’t imported .hwol files before, simply ask the lab for the .hwol file when you receive your normal PDF lab report. Then send a copy to and we will call you back to guide your through the import process.
We are also pleased to announce two new labs working on the .hwol format – ACS Testing and Nicholls Colton. Both companies have installed the .hwol module from their LIMS supplier and are working to populate the required fields needed to populate the .hwol file. We hope to start testing with them in a few weeks’ time.
The current status of all the labs that currently supply or are working on supplying our .hwol files is tabulated below. We have also added a column to indicate which labs can also include WAC data in their .hwol files.

In ProductionSolidsLiquidsWAC
ChemtestYesNot yetYes
DETS (south)YesYesYes
EnvirolabYesNot yetNot yet
I2 AnalyticalYesYesYes
Working on itSolidsLiquidsWAC
DETs (north)YesNot yetYes
ChemtechYesNot yetNot yet
ELABIn development
ACS TestingIn development
Nicholls ColtonIn development
SocotecHave specification

5. Managing.hwol file and their Rulebooks

One new feature worth mentioning, for all the classifiers importing .hwol files and creating rulebooks, is that you can now edit both the names and also the description of these documents. Unwanted rulebooks and .hwol files can also be deleted.  To find these features, click on the Lab Files tab; you will see edit and delete symbols beside all your hwol files; you will also see a new tab called Rulebooks that lets you do the same with your rulebooks

6. Metal Speciation

We have increased the number of speciated metals in HazWasteOnline™ to thirty (as a comparison, there are fourteen in the example template for soils). The full list is: aluminium, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, boron, cadmium, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, potassium, phosphorous, selenium, silver, sodium, strontium, sulphur, thallium, titanium, tin, uranium, vanadium and zinc. [Cyanide is also speciated.] [You can add all these metals with one click in the waste stream template tool] There are now more than 200 common metals compounds in our speciated lists, all ordered from worst case to progressively less worse case. Background data, including typical uses, formula, CAS number, physical form, solubility, triggering threshold, additive etc for each speciated compound can be found in the Help wiki.
This speciation will be complemented by a technical paper that we plan to publish later this year. For background, both the EU and UK technical guidance state that you start from a worst case metal compound and then use lines of evidence to work towards a more reasonable case metal compound for a particular waste. However, neither document defines or lists worse case metal compounds or then lists less worse case compounds. Some published papers (e.g. Hennebert  P., 2019), also aimed at helping classifiers undertaking manual classifications, methodically document worst case metal compounds for all the main hazard properties. However, when you have HazWasteOnline™ that automates all the calculations and data, the classifier is able to move rapidly from worst case to more reasonable case and document the lines of evidence. The paper will address this data gap and will document how you define both worst case species and more importantly, less worse case species for a given metal. It will tabulate the 200 metal species alongside the triggering hazard property, conversion factors and other criteria, metal by metal, in worst case order.  
It will also give a worked example of how you move from a worst case to a more reasonable case metal, using lines of evidence.
[One finding of this exercise is that for the vast majority of these inorganic compounds, they are all additive (HP4, HP5, HP6, HP8, HP14); another reason why the rules of thumb some people still use for metals are not fit for purpose.]

Reference: Hennebert  P., 2019:Hazard classification of waste: review of available practical methods and Tools. Detritus Vol.7 2019

7. “TPH” Research Project

Many of you may be aware, through discussions with us or attendance at one of our training courses, that we are undertaking an in-house project with the participating labs to better understand the nature of the various hydrocarbon tests that they offer. This is because we have found, through our own consultancy work and reviewing lab reports from our classifiers, that there is huge confusion over what the various “TPH” tests actually measure.

Generally, working from highest to lowest potential concentrations, the “TPH” tests measure either;

  • Everything extracted from the waste by the solvent(s) what some labs call EPH, or
  • cleaned-up EPH, where non petroleum hydrocarbons are removed or cleaned-up, typically by a silica gel or florisil method. [Non petroleum hydrocarbons are things like humic acids (found in soils, peat, coal)  and fatty acids (found in living cells: plants, animals, microorganisms, also industrial chemicals such as emulsifiers).], or
  • TPH-CWG, which is a cleaned-up EPH except it is cleaned-up twice, once to estimate the concentration of the aliphatics and a second time to estimate the concentration of the aromatics

This work is even more critical with the advent of newer GC-GC techniques (also called 2D GC-FID) being used to assess hydrocarbons by some of the labs. GC-GC is effectively an EPH extract run through a gas chromatograph that has two columns, one polar, one non-polar, which effectively separates all the hydrocarbons into a 3D distribution (i.e. X,Y,Z dimensions). This output is then analysed mathematically to estimate hydrocarbon concentrations, either in bands or totals. The key challenge here is how or whether the labs subtract the contribution from the non-petroleum hydrocarbons to give us the results that we need in waste classification. [This topic is covered fully in the Refresher training course.]

Why is all this so critical? Well for your unknown oil [HazWasteOnline’s deteminand: TPH(C6-C40) Petroleum Group] or for any known oil for that matter, the WM3 guidance asks the classifier to assess Petroleum Hydrocarbons and not hydrocarbons from plants, animals, coal, ash, peat etc.  So if you don’t know how a lab undertakes a particular “TPH” test, you can be over estimating the “TPH” concentration, which leads to more waste being classified as hazardous which is both expensive and doesn’t meet the needs of the circular economy. Significantly, this lack of standardisation also impacts the “Mineral Oil” result in WAC; some labs are measuring EPH, some cleaned-up EPH and some cleaned-up EPH with any aromatics removed. [Interestingly, there is a reference to EN standard, BS EN 14039:2004 in the (WAC) Decision 2003/33/EC, which is a cleaned-up EPH using florisil and includes both the aliphatics and the aromatics].

So for every lab that wants to be able to supply .hwol files we are:

  • Asking them to complete a TPH survey spreadsheet which tries to capture details about their approaches for the various (standard) TPH tests they offer.
  • Sending every lab a sample of a much studied filter cake, with a test suite that includes a bunch of metals, anions, PAHs and critically four hydrocarbon tests: EPH, cleaned-up EPH, TPH-CWG and WAC (where we investigate the “mineral oil”).  Using the results, we are also able to compare the hydrocarbon terms used in the quote, the PDF report and the .hwol file, alongside the reported concentrations.

All the .hwol labs we are working with have agreed that this needs sorting out, so once we have compiled all the findings from the participating labs, we plan to sit down with them and at a minimum, standardise the basic terminology used in the industry so classifiers can better understand the tests they are buying or the data they are assessing.

If you have any questions about the articles in this post, please get in contact by phone or by email.