Despite significant investigation of fly ash spills and mineralogical controls on the release of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) from fly ash, interactions with the surficial environment remain relatively poorly understood. We conducted 90-day batch leaching studies with paired analysis of supernatant and solid-phase mineralogy to assess the elemental release and transformation of fly ash upon reaction with aquatic media (18 MΩ cm−1 water and simulated rainwater). The fly ash in this study, collected from the University of Alaska Fairbanks stoker-boiler power plant, is high in unburned carbon (~20% LOI) and highly enriched in several PTEs relative to the upper continental crust. Supernatant concentrations of oxyanion-forming elements (e.g., As, Se, Mo, Sb) remained relatively low and constant, suggesting equilibrium with the solid phase, possibly ettringite [Ca6Al2(SO4)3(OH)12•26H2O], which is known to incorporate and sorb oxyanion-forming PTEs and was identified by X-ray diffraction. Synthetic precipitation leaching procedure (SPLP) results failed to capture important temporal trends. Lead and Ba supernatant concentrations consistently exceeded drinking water standards, as well as others upon exposure to simulated physiological solutions. Seven-day experiments with dissolved organic matter-isolate solutions indicated that for certain elements, liberation was influenced by carbon concentration and/or the identity of the isolate. Overall, this paired approach can serve as a model for future studies, bridging existing gaps between batch leaching and single-element mineralogical, sorption, or speciation studies.
|Title||Behavior of potentially toxic elements from stoker-boiler fly ash in Interior Alaska: Paired batch leaching and solid-phase characterization|
|Authors||Kyle P Milke, Kiana Mitchell, Sarah M. Hayes, Carlin J. Green, Jennifer Guerard|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Environmental Science and Pollution Research|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center|