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Open AccessArticle

Distribution of Lanthanides, Yttrium, and Scandium in the Pilot-Scale Beneficiation of Fly Ashes Derived from Eastern Kentucky Coals

1
Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, 2540 Research Park Drive, Lexington, KY 40511, USA
2
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
3
Department of Mining Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
4
Physical Sciences Inc., 20 New England Business Center, Andover, MA 01810, USA
5
Winner Water Services, 200 Clark St., Sharon, PA 16146, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(2), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10020105
Received: 14 January 2020 / Revised: 23 January 2020 / Accepted: 24 January 2020 / Published: 26 January 2020
In this study, Central Appalachian coal-derived fly ashes from two power plants were beneficiated in a pilot-scale facility in order to produce a product with a relatively consistent concentration of rare earth elements (REE). The <200-mesh final fly ash product was produced by removing the carbon- and Fe-rich particles prior to screening at 200 mesh (75 µm). The Plant D fly ash had high concentrations of CaO and SO3, which were diminished through the two months when the ash was being beneficiated, representing a consequence of the heat, humidity, and excessive rainfall in the Kentucky summer. The high CaO and SO3 concentrations through the early runs likely contributed to the lower REE in the <200-mesh products of those runs. Of the non-REE minor elements, Ba, V, Mn, Zn, and As showed the greatest between-run variations within the runs for each plant. The overall REE concentrations proved to be similar, both on a between-run basis for the individual fly ash sources and on a between-plant basis. Variations in fly ash quality will occur in larger-scale operations, so on-going attention to the fly ash quality and the response of the fly ash to beneficiation is necessary. Changes in the Plant D fly ash with time imply that both the freshness of the original ash and the length and conditions of its storage at the site of beneficiation could be factors in the quality and consistency of the processed fly ash. View Full-Text
Keywords: rare earth elements; critical elements; coal combustion rare earth elements; critical elements; coal combustion
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Hower, J.C.; Groppo, J.G.; Joshi, P.; Preda, D.V.; Gamliel, D.P.; Mohler, D.T.; Wiseman, J.D.; Hopps, S.D.; Morgan, T.D.; Beers, T.; Schrock, M. Distribution of Lanthanides, Yttrium, and Scandium in the Pilot-Scale Beneficiation of Fly Ashes Derived from Eastern Kentucky Coals. Minerals 2020, 10, 105.

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