Leaching of elements from bottom ash, economizer fly ash, and fly ash from two coal-fired power plants

International Journal of Coal Geology
By: , and 



To assess how elements leach from several types of coal combustion products (CCPs) and to better understand possible risks from CCP use or disposal, coal ashes were sampled from two bituminous-coal-fired power plants. One plant located in Ohio burns high-sulfur (about 3.9%) Upper Pennsylvanian Pittsburgh coal from the Monongahela Group of the Central Appalachian Basin; the other in New Mexico burns low-sulfur (about 0.76%) Upper Cretaceous Fruitland Formation coal from the San Juan Basin, Colorado Plateau. The sampled CCPs from the Ohio plant were bottom ash (BA), economizer fly ash (EFA), and fly ash (FA); the sampled CCPs from the New Mexico plant were BA, mixed FA/EFA, FA, and cyclone-separated coarse and fine fractions of a FA/EFA and FA blend. Subsamples of each ash were leached using the long-term leaching (60-day duration) component of the synthetic groundwater leaching procedure (SGLP) or the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP, 18-hour duration). These ashes were all alkaline. Leachate concentrations and leachabilities of the elements from the CCPs were similar between corresponding CCP types (BA, EFA, and FA) from each plant. The leachabilities of most elements were lowest in BA (least leachable) and increased from EFA to FA (most leachable). Ca and Sr were leached more from EFA than from either BA or FA. Leachability of most elements also increased as FA particle size decreased, possibly due in part to increasing specific surface areas. Several oxyanion-forming elements (As, Mo, Se, U, and V) leached more under SGLP than under TCLP; the opposite was true for most other elements analyzed.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Leaching of elements from bottom ash, economizer fly ash, and fly ash from two coal-fired power plants
Series title International Journal of Coal Geology
DOI 10.1016/j.coal.2011.10.007
Volume 94
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page 337
Last page 348