The use of biomass in the energy industry is the consequence of ongoing efforts to replace Energy from fossil fuels with energy from renewable sources. However, due to the diversity of the biomass, its use as a solid fuel generates waste with diverse and unstable chemical composition. Waste from biomass combustion is a raw material with a very diverse composition, even in the case of using only one type of biomass. The content of individual elements in fly ash from the combustion of biomass ranges from zero to tens of percent. This makes it difficult to determine the optimal recovery methods. The ashes from the combustion of biomass are most commonly used in the production of building materials and agriculture. This article presents the elemental composition of the most commonly used biomass fuels. The results of the analysis of elemental composition of fly ashes from the combustion of forest and agricultural biomass in fluidized bed boilers used in the commercial power industry were presented. These ashes are characterized by a high content of calcium (12.3–19.4%), silicon (1.2–8.3%), potassium (0.05–1.46%), chlorine (1.1–6.1%), and iron (0.8–6.5%). The discussed ashes contained no sodium. Aluminum was found only in one of the five ashes. Manganese, chromium, copper, nickel, lead, zinc, sulfur, bismuth, titanium and zirconium were found in all of the examined ashes. The analysis of elemental composition may allow for a preliminary assessment of the recovery potential of a given ash.
The problem of of the use of fly ash still constitutes a research and exploration area for scientists. This is due to the fact that, 6,000,000 Mg of coal combustion by-products (CCB) are storage on landfills yearly in Poland alone. One of the potential directions of using fly ash is to use it as a substrate in hydrothermal syntheses of mesoporous materials (synthetic zeolites). Zeolites are aluminosilicates with a spatial structure. Due to their specific structure they are characterized by a number of specific properties among others molecular-sieve, ion-exchange and catalytic that can be used in engineering and environmental protection. So far, the synthesis has been carried out using coal combustion by-products such as fly ash or microsphere. The article analyzes whether separation from the fly ash of the appropriate fraction (below 63 μm) will affect the formation of zeolite grains. The syntheses were carried out using class F fly ash and the fraction separated from it, which was obtained by sieving the ash through a 63 μm sieve. Chemical (XRF) and mineralogical (XRD, SEM-EDS) analyzes were carried out for substrates as well as the obtained reaction products. In the case of substrates, the analysis did not show any significant differences between the ash and the separated fraction. However, in products after synthesis (Na-X zeolite with a small amount of Na-P1 zeolite, and small amounts of quartz and unreacted aluminosilicate glass - mullite) higher aluminum and sodium contents were observed from the separated fraction, with a lower calcium and potassium content. A small proportion of illite was observed on the diffraction curve of the zeolite from the fraction. Observations of grain morphology showed no differences in formation. Based on the conducted analyzes, it can be stated that, considering the economics of the synthesis process, the separation of fine fractions from the fly ash does not affect the quality of the synthesis process.
Fly ash which has been separated from the flue gas stream as a result of fossil fuels combustion constitutes a huge amount of waste generated worldwide. Due to environmental problems, many directions of their rational use have been developed. Various attempts to convert fly ash into sorption materials, mainly synthetic zeolites, are conducted successfully. In this paper, an attempt was made to convert fly ash from lignite combustion from one of the Polish power plants, using alkaline hydrothermal synthesis. The primary phases in the fly ash were: quartz, gehlenite, mullite, hematite, feldspar, lime, anhydrite, occasionally grains of ZnO phase and pyrrhotite, glass and unburned fuel grains. As a result of hydrothermal synthesis a material containing new phases – pitiglianoite and tobermorite was obtained. Among the primary ash constituents, only gehlenite with an unburned organic substance, on which tobermorite with crystallized pitiglianoite was present. As a result of detailed testing of products after synthesis, it was found that among the tested grains: • two populations can be distinguished – grains containing MgO and Fe2O3 as well as grains containing Fe2O3 or MgO or containing none of these components, • the main quantitative component was pitiglianoite, • pitiglianoite was present in larger amounts in grains containing Fe2O3 or MgO or in the absence of both components than in grains in which Fe2O3 and MgO were found. The results of the study indicate that in post-synthesis products, the contribution of components were as follows: pitiglianoite – 39.5% mas., tobermorite – 54% mas., gehlenite – 3% mas. and organic substance – 3.5% mas.
Increasing environmental pressure against waste disposal, particularly fine waste surface storage and concern about mining damages have resulted in an increase in the popularity of a fly ash, tailing and binding agent mixture used as compaction grout of roof fall rocks in a gob area of longwalls. Backfilling of voids forming as a result of exploitation with the fall of roof with mixtures containing fine-grained industrial wastes is a common practice in coal mines. It is aimed at achieving numerous technological and ecological advantages as well as at controlling mining hazards. Research on hydraulic transport of fine-grained slurry conducted to date focused mainly on issues related to the analysis of the conditions related to pipeline transportation. The processes concerning the propagation of mixtures within the gob, on the other hand, remain largely unknown. The process of flow of fine-grained slurry through the caving is subject to a series of factors related, among other things, with the properties of the applied wastes and mixtures, the characteristics of the gob as well as the variability of these properties during the flow through the gob and in time. Due to the lack of sufficient knowledge pertaining to the changes taking place in the gob and in the slurry while it penetrates the gobs, no methods allowing for the design and optimization of the gob grouting process have been established so far. The paper presents the selected results of laboratory tests regarding the flow of ash and water mixtures in a model of a gob, pertaining to two selected types of fly ash produced in hard coal combustion, particularly concerning the impact of the type of the ash and the density of the slurry on the effectiveness of the gob grouting process.
The aim of the paper is the petrographic characterization of coal from the Wieczorek mine and the residues after its gasification. The coal was subjected to gasification in a fluidized bed reactor at a temperature of about 900°C and in an atmosphere of oxygen and CO2. The petrographic, proximate, and ultimate analysis of coal and char was performed. The petrographic composition of bituminous coal is dominated by macerals of the vitrinite group (55% by volume); macerals of inertinite and liptinite groups account for 23% and 16.0%, respectively. In the examined char, the dominant component is inertoid (41% vol.). Mixed dense and mixed porous account for 10.9% and 13.5% vol., respectively. In addition, the examined char also contained unreacted particles such as fusinoids, solids (11.3% vol.), and mineroids (5.1% vol.). The char contains around 65% vol. of low porosity components, which indicates a low degree of carbon conversion and is associated with a low gasification temperature. The char was burned and the resulting bottom and fly ashes were subjected to petrographic analysis. Their composition was compared with the composition of ashes from the combustion of bituminous coal from the Wieczorek mine. Bottom ashes resulting from the combustion of bituminous coal and char did not differ significantly in the petrographic composition. The dominant component was mineroid, which accounted for over 80% vol. When it comes to fly ash, a larger amount of particles with high porosity is observed in fly ash from bituminous coal combustion.
Rare earth elements are characterized by the high risk of their shortage resulting from limited resources. From this reason REE constitute a group of elements of special importance for the European Union. The aim of this study was to evaluate ashes from the burning of coal in fluidized bed boilers as an potential source of REY . Twelve samples of fly ash and bottom ash taken from power plants in Poland were analyzed. Tests have shown that despite some differences in chemical composition, the fly ash and bottom ash from fluidized beds could be classified as the calsialic, low acid type. It was found that fly ashes contained more REY than bottom ashes. Among REY , the light elements (LREY ) had the highest share in the total REY content in both fly ashes and bottom ashes. Heavy elements (HREY ) had the lowest content. The normalized curves plotted for fly ash samples within almost all of their entire range were positioned above the reference level and these curves were of the L-M or H-M type. The content of the individual REY in these samples was even twice as high as in UCC . The normalized curves plotted for bottom ash samples were classified as of L, L-M or H type. They were positioned on the reference level or above it. The content of the individual REY in these samples was the same or up to about 4 times lower than in UCC. It was found that the content of critical elements and of excessive elements in fly ash and bottom ash differs, which has an effect on the value of the outlook coefficient Coutl, and which is always higher in the case of fly ash than in the case of bottom ash. Nevertheless, the computed values of the outlook coefficient Coutl allow both fly ash and bottom ash from fluidized beds to be regarded as promising REY raw materials.
The issue of mercury emission and the need to take action in this direction was noticed in 2013 via the Minamata Convention. Therefore, more and more often, work and new law regulations are commencing to reduce this chemical compound from the environment. The paper presents the problem of removing mercury from waste gases due to new BREF/BAT restrictions, in which the problem of the need to look for new, more efficient solutions to remove this pollution was also indicated. Attention is paid to the problem of the occurrence of mercury in the exhaust gases in the elemental form and the need to carry out laboratory tests. A prototype installation for the sorption of elemental mercury in a pure gas stream on solid sorbents is presented. The installation was built as part of the LIDER project, financed by the National Center for Research and Development in a project entitled: “The Application of Waste Materials From the Energy Sector to Capture Mercury Gaseous Forms from Flue Gas”. The installation is used for tests in laboratory conditions in which the carrier gas of elemental mercury is argon. The first tests on the zeolite sorbent were made on the described apparatus. The tested material was synthetic zeolite X obtained as a result of a two-stage reaction of synthesis of fly ash type C with sodium hydroxide. Due to an increase, the chemical affinity of the tested material in relation to mercury, the obtained zeolite material was activated with silver ions (Ag+) by an ion exchange using silver nitrate (AgNO3). The first test was specified for a period of time of about 240 minutes. During this time, the breakthrough of the tested zeolite material was not recorded, and therefore it can be concluded that the tested material may be promising in the development of new solutions for capturing mercury in the energy sector. The results presented in this paper may be of interest to the energy sector due to the solution of several environmental aspects. The first of them is mercury sorption tests for the development of new exhaust gases treatment technologies. On the other hand, the second aspect raises the possibility of presenting a new direction for the management and utilization of combustion by-products such as fly ash.
The exploitation and processing of lignite in the Bełchatów region is connected with the formation of various mineral waste materials: varied in origin, mineral and chemical composition and raw material properties of the accompanying minerals, ashes and slags from lignite combustion and reagipsum from wet flue gas desulphurisation installations. This paper presents the results of laboratory tests whose main purpose was to obtain data referring to the potential use of fly ashes generated in the Bełchatów Power Plant and selected accompanying minerals exploited in the Bełchatów Mine in the form of self-solidification mixtures. The beidellite clays were considered as the most predisposed for use from the accompanying minerals , due to pozzolanic and sorption properties and swelling capacity. Despite the expected beneficial effects of clay minerals from the smectite group on the self-settling process as well as the stability of such blends after solidification, the results of physical-mechanical tests (compressive strength and water repellence) were unsatisfactory. It was necessary to use Ca (OH)2, obtained from the lacustrine chalk as an activator of the self-settling process It was necessary to use lacustrine chalk as an activator of the self-solidification process. The presence of calcium will allow the formation of cement phases which will be able to strongly bond the skeletal grains. Also, the addition of reagipsum to the composition of the mixture would contribute to the improvement of the physico-mechanical parameters. The elevated SO4 2– ion in the mixture during the solidification allows for the crystallization of the sulphate phases in the pore space to form bridges between the ash and clay minerals. The use of mixtures in land reclamation unfavourably transformed by opencast mining in the Bełchatów region would result in measurable ecological and economic benefits and would largely solve the problem of waste disposal from the from the operation and processing of lignite energy.
The main energy source in Poland is still hard coal and lignite. The coal combustion process produces large quantities of by-products, e.g. fly ashes, slag furnace and harmful chemical gases (CO2, NOx, sulfur compounds) which enter the atmosphere. Fly ashes, due to their being fine grained (cement-like), chemical and phase compound and reactivity, have also been widely used in various technological solutions e.g. in the production of ordinary cement, hydro-technical cement and the new generation of cements. The adequate amount of fly ashes additive has a positive effect on fresh and hardened cement slurry properties. What is more, it allows for the pro-ecological and economic production of cement mix The exploitation of natural resources is connected with performance mining excavations at different depths. After a certain period of time, those voids break down which, in turn, leads to the slip of upper layers and the so-called landslides forming on the surface. This situation imposes the necessity of basis and sealing rock mass reinforcement. To minimize the risk connected to geotechnical problems on the mining areas, there is a need to use engineering solutions which could improve soil bearing in a universal, economical and efficient way. This leads to the development of new cement slurry recipes used during geoengineering works, especially in the mining areas. Moreover, economic requirements are forcing engineers to use less expensive technical and technological solutions simultaneously maintaining strength properties. An example of such a solution is to use suitable additives to cement slurry which could reduce the total unit cost of the treatment.
Mine drainage and discharge of salt waters into water bodies belong to main environmental issues, which must be appropriately addressed by the underground coal mining industry. The large area of exploited and abandoned mine fields in the Upper Silesia Coal Basin, as well as the geological structure of the rock mass and its hydrogeological conditions require the draining and discharge of about 119 million m3/yr of mine waters. Increasing the depth of mining and the necessity of protection of mines against water hazard result in increased amounts of chlorides and sulphates in the mine waters, even by decreasing the total coal output and the number of mines. The majority of the salts are being discharged directly into rivers, partly under control of salt concentration, however from the point of the view of environment protection, the most favorable way of their utilization would be technologies allowing the bulk use of saline waters. Filling of underground voids represents a group of such methods, from which the filling of goaves (cavings) is the most effective. Due to large volume of voids resulting from the extraction of coal and taking the numerous limitations of this method into account, the potential capacity for filling reaches about 17.7 million m3/yr of cavings and unnecessary workings. Considering the limited availability of fly ash, which is the main component of slurries being in use for the filling of voids, the total volume of saline water and brines, which could be utilized, has been assessed as 3,5–6,5 million m3/yr