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Nano-Scale Rare Earth Distribution in Fly Ash Derived from the Combustion of the Fire Clay Coal, Kentucky

1
Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, 2540 Research Park Drive, Lexington, KY 40511, USA
2
Electron Microscopy Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
3
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
4
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(4), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040206
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 30 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Minerals in Coal and Coal Combustion Products)
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Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: lanthanides; monazite; coal combustion products lanthanides; monazite; coal combustion products
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Hower, J.C.; Qian, D.; Briot, N.J.; Santillan-Jimenez, E.; Hood, M.M.; Taggart, R.K.; Hsu-Kim, H. Nano-Scale Rare Earth Distribution in Fly Ash Derived from the Combustion of the Fire Clay Coal, Kentucky. Minerals 2019, 9, 206.

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