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Isotopic Signatures and Outputs of Lead from Coal Fly Ash Disposal in China, India, and the United States.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Wang, Z; Dai, S; Cowan, EA; Dietrich, M; Schlesinger, WH; Wu, Q; Zhou, M; Seramur, KC; Das, D; Vengosh, A
Published in: Environmental science & technology
August 2023

Despite extensive research and technology to reduce the atmospheric emission of Pb from burning coal for power generation, minimal attention has been paid to Pb associated with coal ash disposal in the environment. This study investigates the isotopic signatures and output rates of Pb in fly ash disposal in China, India, and the United States. Pairwise comparison between feed coal and fly ash samples collected from coal-fired power plants from each country shows that the Pb isotope composition of fly ash largely resembles that of feed coal, and its isotopic distinction allows for tracing the release of Pb from coal fly ash into the environment. Between 2000 and 2020, approx. 236, 56, and 46 Gg Pb from fly ash have been disposed in China, India, and the U.S., respectively, posing a significant environmental burden. A Bayesian Pb isotope mixing model shows that during the past 40 to 70 years, coal fly ash has contributed significantly higher Pb (∼26%) than leaded gasoline (∼7%) to Pb accumulation in the sediments of five freshwater lakes in North Carolina, U.S.A. This implies that the release of disposed coal fly ash Pb at local and regional scales can outweigh that of other anthropogenic Pb sources.

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Published In

Environmental science & technology

DOI

EISSN

1520-5851

ISSN

0013-936X

Publication Date

August 2023

Volume

57

Issue

33

Start / End Page

12259 / 12269

Related Subject Headings

  • United States
  • Power Plants
  • Lead
  • Isotopes
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Coal Ash
  • Coal
  • China
  • Bayes Theorem
 

Citation

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Wang, Z., Dai, S., Cowan, E. A., Dietrich, M., Schlesinger, W. H., Wu, Q., … Vengosh, A. (2023). Isotopic Signatures and Outputs of Lead from Coal Fly Ash Disposal in China, India, and the United States. Environmental Science & Technology, 57(33), 12259–12269. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.3c03456
Wang, Zhen, Shifeng Dai, Ellen A. Cowan, Matthew Dietrich, William H. Schlesinger, Qingru Wu, Mingxuan Zhou, Keith C. Seramur, Debabrata Das, and Avner Vengosh. “Isotopic Signatures and Outputs of Lead from Coal Fly Ash Disposal in China, India, and the United States.Environmental Science & Technology 57, no. 33 (August 2023): 12259–69. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.3c03456.
Wang Z, Dai S, Cowan EA, Dietrich M, Schlesinger WH, Wu Q, et al. Isotopic Signatures and Outputs of Lead from Coal Fly Ash Disposal in China, India, and the United States. Environmental science & technology. 2023 Aug;57(33):12259–69.
Wang, Zhen, et al. “Isotopic Signatures and Outputs of Lead from Coal Fly Ash Disposal in China, India, and the United States.Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 57, no. 33, Aug. 2023, pp. 12259–69. Epmc, doi:10.1021/acs.est.3c03456.
Wang Z, Dai S, Cowan EA, Dietrich M, Schlesinger WH, Wu Q, Zhou M, Seramur KC, Das D, Vengosh A. Isotopic Signatures and Outputs of Lead from Coal Fly Ash Disposal in China, India, and the United States. Environmental science & technology. 2023 Aug;57(33):12259–12269.
Journal cover image

Published In

Environmental science & technology

DOI

EISSN

1520-5851

ISSN

0013-936X

Publication Date

August 2023

Volume

57

Issue

33

Start / End Page

12259 / 12269

Related Subject Headings

  • United States
  • Power Plants
  • Lead
  • Isotopes
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Coal Ash
  • Coal
  • China
  • Bayes Theorem