Distribution of rare earth elements in fly ash derived from the combustion of Illinois Basin coals

James C. Hower, John G. Groppo, Heileen Hsu-Kim, Ross K. Taggart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined rare earth element (REE) trends for Illinois Basin coal-sourced fly ashes, with the goal of understanding the elemental composition and resource potential for various fly ash fractions. Illinois Basin coals have a high volatile C through A bituminous rank with a moderate ash content (slightly>12% ash (dry basis)), about 3% sulfur, and, in general, lower concentrations of hazardous and other trace elements than many Central Appalachian coals. Fly ash from the combustion of Illinois Basin coals tends to have a high Fe2O3 content owing to the amount of pyrite in the feed coals. The rare earth element (REE) concentrations in Illinois Basin coal-sourced fly ashes are less than that for fly ashes from the combustion of Central Appalachian coals. The Upper continental crust-corrected fly ashes show an H-type enrichment, a positive EuN/EuN*, and, in some cases, a sharp Gd peak. For comparison, a suite of fly ashes from the combustion of a blend of eastern Kentucky coals had an H-type enrichment, a positive EuN/EuN*, but only a minimal Gd peak. In contrast, fly ash from the combustion of the Fire Clay coal, a REE-rich coal, had a negative EuN/EuN* and a sharp Gd peak. These results highlight the importance of feed coal composition on trace element contents of respective combustion fly ash fractions and also the unique REE enrichment patterns of the Illinois Basin fly ashes relative to the better studied fly ashes of eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119990
JournalFuel
Volume289
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Coal
  • Critical materials
  • Energy resources
  • Fly ash
  • Lanthanides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry

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