Arsenic Speciation in Bituminous Coal Fly Ash and Transformations in Response to Redox Conditions

Amrika Deonarine, Allan Kolker, Andrea L. Foster, Michael W. Doughten, James T. Holland, Jeremy D. Bailoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The risk of the mobilization of coal ash into the environment has highlighted the need for the assessment of the environmental behavior of coal ash, particularly with respect to toxic trace elements such as arsenic (As). Here, we examined As speciation in coal fly ash samples and transformations in response to aquatic redox conditions. X-ray absorption spectroscopy indicated that 92-97% of total As occurred as As(V), with the remainder present as As(III). Major As-bearing hosts in unamended ashes were glass, iron (oxyhydr)oxides, and calcium arsenate. Oxic leaching resulted in immediate As mobilization to the aqueous phase, reprecipitation of As-iron ferrihydrite, and As adsorption to mineral surfaces. Under anoxic conditions, the (reductive) dissolution of As-bearing phases such as iron ferrihydrite resulted in increased dissolved As compared to oxic conditions and reprecipitation of iron arsenate. Overall, As in coal ash is not environmentally stable and can participate in local biogeochemical cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6099-6106
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 7 2016


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