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Title: Analysis of rare earth elements in coal fly ash using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy

Abstract

Reference standard NIST SRM 1633b and FA 345, a fly ash sample from an eastern U.S. coal power plant, were analyzed to determine and quantify the mineralogical association of rare earth elements (REE). These analyses were completed using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and a scanning electron microscope, equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDS). Internal standardization was avoided by quantifying elemental concentrations by normalizing to 100% oxides. Mineral grains containing elevated REE concentrations were found in diverse chemical environments, but were most commonly found in regions where Al and Si were predominant. Dividing the spot analyses into time segments yielded plots that showed the REE content changing over time as individual mineral grains were being ablated. SEM-EDS images of FA 345 confirmed the trends that were found in the LA-ICP-MS results. Small grains of apatite, monazite, or zircon were frequently observed as free mineral grains or embedded in amorphous aluminosilicate glass and were not associated with ferrous particles. This finding is consistent with previous reports that magnetic enrichment may be an effective way of concentrating non-magnetic REE phases. Moreover, aggressive mechanical and chemical-based separation schemes will be required to separate and recover REE from aluminosilicate glass.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, (United States)
  2. National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, (United States); National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Albany, OR (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, (United States); National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, Morgantown, WV, and Albany, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1478386
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1491095
Report Number(s):
CONTR-PUB-344
Journal ID: ISSN 0584-8547; PII: S0584854717304214
Grant/Contract Number:  
FE0004000
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Spectrochimica Acta. Part B, Atomic Spectroscopy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 143; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0584-8547
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; Coal fly ash; Rare earth elements (REE); Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS); Scanning electron microscope - energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDS)

Citation Formats

Thompson, Robert L., Bank, Tracy, Montross, Scott, Roth, Elliot, Howard, Bret, Verba, Circe, and Granite, Evan. Analysis of rare earth elements in coal fly ash using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.sab.2018.02.009.
Thompson, Robert L., Bank, Tracy, Montross, Scott, Roth, Elliot, Howard, Bret, Verba, Circe, & Granite, Evan. Analysis of rare earth elements in coal fly ash using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy. United States. doi:10.1016/j.sab.2018.02.009.
Thompson, Robert L., Bank, Tracy, Montross, Scott, Roth, Elliot, Howard, Bret, Verba, Circe, and Granite, Evan. Tue . "Analysis of rare earth elements in coal fly ash using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy". United States. doi:10.1016/j.sab.2018.02.009. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1478386.
@article{osti_1478386,
title = {Analysis of rare earth elements in coal fly ash using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy},
author = {Thompson, Robert L. and Bank, Tracy and Montross, Scott and Roth, Elliot and Howard, Bret and Verba, Circe and Granite, Evan},
abstractNote = {Reference standard NIST SRM 1633b and FA 345, a fly ash sample from an eastern U.S. coal power plant, were analyzed to determine and quantify the mineralogical association of rare earth elements (REE). These analyses were completed using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and a scanning electron microscope, equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDS). Internal standardization was avoided by quantifying elemental concentrations by normalizing to 100% oxides. Mineral grains containing elevated REE concentrations were found in diverse chemical environments, but were most commonly found in regions where Al and Si were predominant. Dividing the spot analyses into time segments yielded plots that showed the REE content changing over time as individual mineral grains were being ablated. SEM-EDS images of FA 345 confirmed the trends that were found in the LA-ICP-MS results. Small grains of apatite, monazite, or zircon were frequently observed as free mineral grains or embedded in amorphous aluminosilicate glass and were not associated with ferrous particles. This finding is consistent with previous reports that magnetic enrichment may be an effective way of concentrating non-magnetic REE phases. Moreover, aggressive mechanical and chemical-based separation schemes will be required to separate and recover REE from aluminosilicate glass.},
doi = {10.1016/j.sab.2018.02.009},
journal = {Spectrochimica Acta. Part B, Atomic Spectroscopy},
number = C,
volume = 143,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

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