Sixteen trace and minor elements that occur in coal are listed among 189 substances identified as 'hazardous air pollutants' (HAPs) in the US Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. We investigated the occurrence and cleanability of the 16 HAPs in Illinois coals, as a contribution to the discussion about the potential effect of pending environmental regulations on the future use of these coals in power generation. The average ash content of the samples of conventionally cleaned as-shipped coals is about 20% lower than that of standard channel samples. Conventional cleaning reduces the average concentrations of As, Cd, Co, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb and Th in the as-shipped coals by more than 20% relative to channel samples. Thus, basing assessments of health risks from emissions of HAPs during coal combustion on channel samples without appropriate adjustment would overestimate the risk. Additional cleaning by froth-flotation reduces the ash content of finely-ground as-shipped coals by as much as 76% at an 80% combustibles recovery. Although the average froth-flotation cleanability for the majority of HAPs is less than that for ash, the cleanabilities in some individual cases approaches, or even exceeds, the cleanability for ash, depending on the modes of occurrences of the elements. ?? 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Additional publication details
Environmentally critical elements in channel and cleaned samples of Illinois coals