Synthesis of high quality zeolites from coal fly ash: Mobility of hazardous elements and environmental applications

Wei Feng, Zhijian Wan, Jacqueline Daniels, Zhikao Li, Gongkui Xiao, Jialin Yu, Dong Xu, Hua Guo, Dongke Zhang, Eric F. May, Gang (Kevin) Li

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Converting fly ash into zeolite is an alternative way to reduce the waste landfills while also producing high value-added products. However, hydrothermal synthesis of zeolite from fly ash in alkaline media could also induce mobilization of toxic heavy metals, possibly causing environmental contamination. Systematic research into this subject is rare in the open literature and the mobility of heavy metals from fly ash derived zeolites is yet to be understood. In the present contribution, we investigated the migration of heavy metals and quantified their distribution from fly ash to product zeolites and waste water during the synthesis of high-quality type A zeolites (471 m2/g surface area). High conversions of major elements (98.2% aluminium and 96.5% silicon) were achieved, with zero secondary solid waste. Metalloid elements including arsenic and selenium, and those with strong amphoteric properties e.g. molybdenum were found highly mobile and mostly presented in the wastewater. In comparison, less than 20% of the heavy metals with weak amphoteric nature including copper, chromium and lead from the fly ash went to the wastewater; the rest along with almost all cadmium, iron and nickel were fixed into the product zeolites. Despite the existence of heavy metal elements in zeolites, there was no noticeable leaching under various pH conditions, hence deemed safe for applications. Furthermore, the effective removal of trace strontium and caesium cations from contaminated water using such zeolites was demonstrated.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)390-400
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
    Volume202
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2018

    Fingerprint

    Zeolites
    Fly ash
    fly ash
    Heavy metals
    Coal
    heavy metal
    coal
    Wastewater
    zeolite
    wastewater
    cesium
    Metalloids
    strontium
    molybdenum
    selenium
    solid waste
    Hydrothermal synthesis
    silicon
    Selenium
    Cesium

    Cite this

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    title = "Synthesis of high quality zeolites from coal fly ash: Mobility of hazardous elements and environmental applications",
    abstract = "Converting fly ash into zeolite is an alternative way to reduce the waste landfills while also producing high value-added products. However, hydrothermal synthesis of zeolite from fly ash in alkaline media could also induce mobilization of toxic heavy metals, possibly causing environmental contamination. Systematic research into this subject is rare in the open literature and the mobility of heavy metals from fly ash derived zeolites is yet to be understood. In the present contribution, we investigated the migration of heavy metals and quantified their distribution from fly ash to product zeolites and waste water during the synthesis of high-quality type A zeolites (471 m2/g surface area). High conversions of major elements (98.2{\%} aluminium and 96.5{\%} silicon) were achieved, with zero secondary solid waste. Metalloid elements including arsenic and selenium, and those with strong amphoteric properties e.g. molybdenum were found highly mobile and mostly presented in the wastewater. In comparison, less than 20{\%} of the heavy metals with weak amphoteric nature including copper, chromium and lead from the fly ash went to the wastewater; the rest along with almost all cadmium, iron and nickel were fixed into the product zeolites. Despite the existence of heavy metal elements in zeolites, there was no noticeable leaching under various pH conditions, hence deemed safe for applications. Furthermore, the effective removal of trace strontium and caesium cations from contaminated water using such zeolites was demonstrated.",
    keywords = "Adsorption, Fly ash, Hazardous element, Leaching, Migration, Zeolite",
    author = "Wei Feng and Zhijian Wan and Jacqueline Daniels and Zhikao Li and Gongkui Xiao and Jialin Yu and Dong Xu and Hua Guo and Dongke Zhang and May, {Eric F.} and Li, {Gang (Kevin)}",
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    Synthesis of high quality zeolites from coal fly ash : Mobility of hazardous elements and environmental applications. / Feng, Wei; Wan, Zhijian; Daniels, Jacqueline; Li, Zhikao; Xiao, Gongkui; Yu, Jialin; Xu, Dong; Guo, Hua; Zhang, Dongke; May, Eric F.; Li, Gang (Kevin).

    In: Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 202, 20.11.2018, p. 390-400.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    T1 - Synthesis of high quality zeolites from coal fly ash

    T2 - Mobility of hazardous elements and environmental applications

    AU - Feng, Wei

    AU - Wan, Zhijian

    AU - Daniels, Jacqueline

    AU - Li, Zhikao

    AU - Xiao, Gongkui

    AU - Yu, Jialin

    AU - Xu, Dong

    AU - Guo, Hua

    AU - Zhang, Dongke

    AU - May, Eric F.

    AU - Li, Gang (Kevin)

    PY - 2018/11/20

    Y1 - 2018/11/20

    N2 - Converting fly ash into zeolite is an alternative way to reduce the waste landfills while also producing high value-added products. However, hydrothermal synthesis of zeolite from fly ash in alkaline media could also induce mobilization of toxic heavy metals, possibly causing environmental contamination. Systematic research into this subject is rare in the open literature and the mobility of heavy metals from fly ash derived zeolites is yet to be understood. In the present contribution, we investigated the migration of heavy metals and quantified their distribution from fly ash to product zeolites and waste water during the synthesis of high-quality type A zeolites (471 m2/g surface area). High conversions of major elements (98.2% aluminium and 96.5% silicon) were achieved, with zero secondary solid waste. Metalloid elements including arsenic and selenium, and those with strong amphoteric properties e.g. molybdenum were found highly mobile and mostly presented in the wastewater. In comparison, less than 20% of the heavy metals with weak amphoteric nature including copper, chromium and lead from the fly ash went to the wastewater; the rest along with almost all cadmium, iron and nickel were fixed into the product zeolites. Despite the existence of heavy metal elements in zeolites, there was no noticeable leaching under various pH conditions, hence deemed safe for applications. Furthermore, the effective removal of trace strontium and caesium cations from contaminated water using such zeolites was demonstrated.

    AB - Converting fly ash into zeolite is an alternative way to reduce the waste landfills while also producing high value-added products. However, hydrothermal synthesis of zeolite from fly ash in alkaline media could also induce mobilization of toxic heavy metals, possibly causing environmental contamination. Systematic research into this subject is rare in the open literature and the mobility of heavy metals from fly ash derived zeolites is yet to be understood. In the present contribution, we investigated the migration of heavy metals and quantified their distribution from fly ash to product zeolites and waste water during the synthesis of high-quality type A zeolites (471 m2/g surface area). High conversions of major elements (98.2% aluminium and 96.5% silicon) were achieved, with zero secondary solid waste. Metalloid elements including arsenic and selenium, and those with strong amphoteric properties e.g. molybdenum were found highly mobile and mostly presented in the wastewater. In comparison, less than 20% of the heavy metals with weak amphoteric nature including copper, chromium and lead from the fly ash went to the wastewater; the rest along with almost all cadmium, iron and nickel were fixed into the product zeolites. Despite the existence of heavy metal elements in zeolites, there was no noticeable leaching under various pH conditions, hence deemed safe for applications. Furthermore, the effective removal of trace strontium and caesium cations from contaminated water using such zeolites was demonstrated.

    KW - Adsorption

    KW - Fly ash

    KW - Hazardous element

    KW - Leaching

    KW - Migration

    KW - Zeolite

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