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

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