Selenium Content and Oxidation States in Fly Ashes from Western U.S. Coals

  • Shas V. Mattigod
  • Thomas R. Quinn


A selective extraction scheme was developed for the determination of the oxidation states of Se species in coal ashes. As compared to HF dissolution, extractions with 70% HClO4 mobilized 90 to 100% of all compound and redox forms of Se from four of the five fly ashes. Extractions with 16M HNO3 did not mobilize all forms of Se as effectively as perchloric acid. Both oxidized forms of Se (IV and VI) were completely mobilized by 12M HCl extraction. Deionized-distilled water was not an effective extractant for mobilizing all compound forms of Se(IV) from fly ashes. Extraction data (70% HClO4, 16M HNO3, 12M HCI, DI water) indicated that the solid:solution ratio is a critical factor in Se extractability from fly ashes. Maximum extractions in all cases were obtained only with very high (1:500) solid:solution ratios. Extraction times from 1.5 to 25 hours did not significantly change Se extractability with any of the extractants except with 12M HCI, which required a minimum reaction time of 48 hours to attain maximum Se extractability. Reaction times shorter than the critical time and low solid:solution ratios significantly affected Se extractability from these fly ashes. Measurements of Se content and redox state in particle size and density fractions five western United States coal ashes indicated that typically, the Se content increased with decreasing particle size.. However, no consistent trend in Se concentration between the light and heavy density fractions of <2.7-µm size fraction was observed. Selenium redox state data indicated that only Se(0) and Se(IV) forms were present in these five coal ashes. The presence of Se(IV) is significant since it is much more easily mobilized than the elemental form. Examination of fly ashes by the proposed scheme to determine Se redox species could permit better estimation of the Se content of plants grown on fly ash amended soils.


Density Fraction Solution Ratio Redox Form Minimum Reaction Time Wrist Action Shaker 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shas V. Mattigod
    • 1
  • Thomas R. Quinn
    • 1
  1. 1.Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryRichlandUSA

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