Introduction Overview Projects Facts Funding Facilities

Research Project Profile

Life Cycle of Metals in Coal Combustion: Metal Release and Capture, Speciation in Flyash, and Transformations During Ash Reuse and Storage

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PI: Daniel Giammar, Washington University in St. Louis
Co-PIs: Pratim Biswas, Washington University in St. Louis; Jeffrey Catalano, Washington University in St. Louis; Anil Dikshit, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; Jiming Hao, Tsinghua University, PRC


An improved understanding of the factors controlling the life cycles of metals is necessary to design effective strategies to reduce metal releases to the environment. Metals of interest include arsenic, lead, mercury, and selenium.

Task 1: Metal Capture During Combustion

  • conventional and oxy-coal
  • different coals
  • spectroscopic determination of capture mechanisms

Task 2: Relating Metal Speciation to Leachability

  • ash from Task 1 and from full-scale facilities
  • molecular-scale speciation of metals in ash
  • sequential extractions

Task 3: Fate of Metals During Ash Reuse and Storage

  • reuse as a cement amendment
  • wet storage of ash
  • XAFS spectroscopy and aqueous extractions

Project summary

The proposed project will investigate the life cycle of metals during coal utilization. Effective management of this life cycle is critical to limiting emissions of metals to the atmosphere and preventing their release to the environment during the reuse and storage of coal fly ash. The project objectives are to develop the scientific basis for understanding the fate of metals at different stages of coal utilization and to identify means of mitigating metal releases to the environment.

WU Engineering Tsinghua IIT Bombay