Geochemical Partitioning of Major Elements in Brine Impacted Coal Fly Ash Residues

O. O. Fatoba, L. F. Petrik, R. O. Akinyeye, W. M. Gitari, E. I. Iwuoha


Fly ash-brine co-disposal technique has been considered as a way of disposing fly ash and brine (hyper-saline water) by some power stations in South Africa. This practice was aimed at using the fly ash to capture most of the elements in brine. However, the geochemical partitioning of the major elements in the waste materials after the fly ash-brine interaction has not been fully understood. This study focuses on understanding the geochemical partitioning of the major elements captured in the fly ash solid residues after the fly ash-brine interaction experiment. XRF and sequential extraction procedure were respectively applied to determine the chemical composition and partitioning of the major elements in fresh fly ash and the solid residues recovered after fly ash-brine interaction. The comparison of the results of the XRF analysis carried out on the fresh fly ash and the solid residues showed that the major elements such as Si, Ca, Mg and Na increased in the solid residues after the fly ash-brine interaction. This indicates that Ca, Mg and Na in the brine solution were captured by the fly ash during the interaction. However, the sequential extraction results showed that significant concentrations of Ca, Na and Mg were released into the water soluble, exchangeable and carbonate fractions. The results show that significant amounts of the elements captured in the fly ash solid residues during fly ash-brine interaction exist in the form which can be easily leached out when in contact with aqueous solution.


Brine; Fly ash; Chemical interactions; Sequential extraction; Leaching; Partitioning; Solid residues; Chemical composition; Coal combustion; Chemical distribution

Full Text:



[1] Adriano, D. C., Page, A. L., Elseewi, A. A., Chang, A. C., & Straughan, I. (1980). Utilization and Disposal of Fly Ash and Other Coal Residues in Terrestrial Ecosystems: A Review. Journal of Environmental Quality, 9, 333-344.

[2] Al-Abed, S. R., Jegadeesan, G., Purandare, J., & Allen, D. (2007). Arsenic Release from Iron Rich Mineral Processing waste: Influence of pH and Redox Potential. Chemosphere, 66, 775-782.

[3] Albores, A., Cid, B., Gómes, E., & Lópes, E. (2000). Comparison Between Sequential Extraction Procedures and Single Metal Partitioning in Sewage Sludge Samples. Analyst, 7, 1353-1357.

[4] American Coal Ash Association (ACAA), (2008). Coal Combustion Product (CCP) Production & Use Survey Report. Retrieved from

[5] Baba, A., & Kaya, A. (2004). Leaching Characteristics of Solid Wastes from Thermal Plants of Western Turkey and Comparison of Toxicity Methodologies. Journal of Environmental Management, 73, 199-207.

[6] Campbell, A. E. (1999). Chemical, Physical and Mineralogical Properties Associated with the Hardening of Some South African Fly Ashes (Master’s thesis). University of Cape Town, South Africa.

[7] Dijkstra, J. J., Van der Sloot, H. A., & Comans, R. N. J. (2006). The leaching of Major and Trace Elements from MSWI Bottom Ash as a Function of pH and Time. Applied Geochemistry, 21, 335-351.

[8] ESKOM (2012). ESKOM Annual Report: Environmental Impact Assessment. Retrieved from

[9] Fatoba, O. O. (2010). Chemical Interactions and Mobility of Species in Fly Ash-Brine Co-Disposal Systems (Doctoral dissertation). University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

[10] Fatoba, O. O., Petrik, L. F., Gitari, W. M., & Iwuoha, E. I. (2011). Fly Ash-Brine Interactions: Removal of Major and Trace Elements from Brine. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, 46(14), 1648-1666.

[11] Foner, A. H., Robl, L. T., Hower, C., & Graham, M. U. (1999). Characterization of Fly Ash from Israel with Reference to Its Possible Utilization. Fuel, 78, 215-223.

[12] Garavaglia, R., & Caramuscio, P. (1994). Coal Fly-Ash Leaching Behaviour and Solubility Controlling Solids. In: Environmental Aspect of Construction with Waste Materials (pp. 87-102). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

[13] Georgakopoulos, A., Filippidis, A., Kassoli-Fournaraki, A., Fernández-Turiel, J.L., Llorens, J., & Mousty, F. (2002). Leachability of Major and Trace Elements of Fly Ash from Ptolemais Power Stations, Northern Greece. Energy Sources, 24, 103-113.

[14] Gitari, M. W., Petrik, L. F., Etchebers, O., Key, D. L., Iwuoha, E., & Okujeni C. (2006). Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage with Fly Ash: Removal of Major Contaminants and Trace Elements. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, 41(8), 1729-1747.

[15] Gitari, W. M., Fatoba, O. O., Petrik, L. F., & Vadapalli, V. R. K. (2009). Leaching Characteristics of Selected South African Fly Ashes: Effect of pH on the Release of Major and Trace Species. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, 44(2) 206-220.

[16] Ilic, M., Cheesman, C., Sollars, C., & Knight, J. (2003). Mineralogy and Microstructure of Sintered Lignite Coal Fly Ash. Fuel, 82, 331-336.

[17] Iyer, R. S., & Scott, J. A. (2001). Power Station Fly Ash-a Review of Value Added Utilization Outside of the Construction Industry. Resources Conservation and Recycling, 31, 217-228.

[18] Jegadeesan, G., Al-abed, S. R. & Pinto, P. (2008). Influence of Trace Metal Distribution on Its Leachability from Coal Fly Ash. Environmental Protection, 87, 1887-1893.

[19] Kirby, C. S., & Rimstidt, J. D. (1994). Interaction of Municipal Solid Waste Ash with Water. Environmental Science and Technology, 28(3), 443-451.

[20] Kumpiene, J., Lagerkvist, A., & Maurice, C. (2007). Stabilization of Pb- and Cu-Contaminated Soil Using Coal Fly Ash and Peat. Environmental Pollution, 145, 365-373.

[21] Mattigod, S. V., Rai, D., Eary, L. E., & Ainsworth, C. C. (1990). Geochemical Factors Controlling the Mobilization of Inorganic Constituents from Fossil Fuel Residues: I. Review of the Major Elements. Journal of Environmental Quality, 19, 188-201.

[22] Nurmesniemi, H., Pöykiö, R., Kuokkanen, T., & Rämö, J. (2008). Chemical Sequential Extraction of Heavy Metals and Sulphur in Bottom Ash and in Fly Ash from a Pulp and Paper Mill Complex. Waste Management and Research, 26, 389-399.

[23] Polettini, A., & Pomi, R. (2004). The Leaching Behaviour of Incinerator Bottom Ash as Affected by Accelerated Ageing. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 113, 209-215.

[24] Pueyo, M., Sastre, J., Hernández, E., Vidal, M., López-Sánchez, J.F., & Rauret, G. (2003). Prediction of Trace Element Mobility in Contaminated Soils by Sequential Extraction. Journal of Environmental Quality, 32, 2054-2066.

[25] Tack, F. M. G., & Verloo, M. G. (1995). Chemical Speciation and Fractionation in Soil and Sediment Heavy Metal Analysis: A Review. International Journal of Environmental and Analytical Chemistry, 59, 225-238.

[26] Tessier, A., Cambell, G. C., & Bisson, M. (1979). Sequential Extraction Procedure for Speciation of Particulate Trace Metals. Analytical Chemistry, 51, 844-851.

[27] Van Herck, P., & Vandecasteele, C. (2001). Evaluation of the Use of a Sequential Extraction Procedure for the Characterization and Treatment of Metal Containing Solid Waste. Waste Management, 21, 685-694.

[28] Warren, C. J., & Dudas, M. J. (1984). Weathering Processes in Relation to Leachate Properties of Alkaline Fly Ash. Journal of Environmental Quality, 19, 188-201.

[29] Wong, J. W. C., & Selvam, A. (2006). Speciation of Heavy Metals During Co-Composting of Sewage Sludge With Lime. Chemosphere, 63, 980-986.




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Share us to:   


If you have already registered in Journal A and plan to submit article(s) to Journal B, please click the CATEGORIES, or JOURNALS A-Z on the right side of the "HOME".

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Energy Science and Technology are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 9375 Rue de Roissy Brossard, Québec, J4X 3A1, Canada 
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http:// Http://;

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Research & Development Centre of Sciences and Cultures