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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Chemical and Physical Properties of Dry Flue Gas Desulfurization Products


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 2, p. 676-686
    Received: May 24, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): dick.5@osu.edu
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  1. David A. Kosta,
  2. Jerry M. Bighamb,
  3. Richard C. Stehouwerc,
  4. Joel H. Beeghlyd,
  5. Randy Fowlerb,
  6. Samuel J. Trainad,
  7. William E. Wolfee and
  8. Warren A. Dick *a
  1. a School of Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691
    b School of Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210
    c Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802
    d Sierra Nevada Research Institute, University of California, Merced, CA 95344
    e Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210


Beneficial and environmentally safe recycling of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) products requires detailed knowledge of their chemical and physical properties. We analyzed 59 dry FGD samples collected from 13 locations representing four major FGD scrubbing technologies. The chemistry of all samples was dominated by Ca, S, Al, Fe, and Si and strong preferential partitioning into the acid insoluble residue (i.e., coal ash residue) was observed for Al, Ba, Be, Cr, Fe, Li, K, Pb, Si, and V. Sulfur, Ca, and Mg occurred primarily in water- or acid-soluble forms associated with the sorbents or scrubber reaction products. Deionized water leachates (American Society for Testing and Materials [ASTM] method) and dilute acetic acid leachates (toxicity characteristic leaching procedure [TCLP] method) had mean pH values of >11.2 and high mean concentrations of S primarily as SO2− 4 and Ca. Concentrations of Ag, As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Hg, Pb, and Se (except for ASTM Se in two samples) were below drinking water standards in both ASTM and TCLP leachates. Total toxicity equivalents (TEQ) of dioxins, for two FGD products used for mine reclamation, were 0.48 and 0.53 ng kg−1 This was similar to the background level of the mine spoil (0.57 ng kg−1). The FGD materials were mostly uniform in particle size. Specific surface area (m2 g−1) was related to particle size and varied from 1.3 for bed ash to 9.5 for spray dryer material. Many of the chemical and physical properties of these FGD samples were associated with the quality of the coal rather than the combustion and SO2 scrubbing processes used.

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