Nano-scale rare earth distribution in fly ash derived from the combustion of the fire clay coal, kentucky
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Fly ash from the combustion of eastern Kentucky Fire Clay coal in a southeastern United States pulverized-coal power plant was studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and selected area electron diffraction (SAED). TEM combined with elemental analysis via energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) showed that rare earth elements (REE; specifically, La, Ce, Nd, Pr, and Sm) were distributed within glassy particles. In certain cases, the REE were accompanied by phosphorous, suggesting a monazite or similar mineral form. However, the electron diffraction patterns of apparent phosphate minerals were not definitive, and P-lean regions of the glass consisted of amorphous phases. Therefore, the distribution of the REE in the fly ash seemed to be in the form of TEM-visible nano-scale crystalline minerals, with additional distributions corresponding to overlapping ultra-fine minerals and even true atomic dispersion within the fly ash glass.
Hower, JC; Qian, D; Briot, NJ; Santillan-Jimenez, E; Hood, MM; Taggart, RK; Hsu-Kim, H
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