Magnetic Fractions of PM2.5, PM2.5-10, and PM10 from Coal Fly Ash as Environmental Pollutants

Fomenko, Elena, V; Anshits, Natalia N.; Solovyov, Leonid A.; Knyazev, Yuriy, V; Semenov, Sergey, V; et al. / Acs Omega/

Characterization of magnetic particulate matter (PM) in coal fly ashes is critical to assessing the health risks associated with industrial coal combustion and for future applications of fine fractions that will minimize solid waste pollution. In this study, magnetic narrow fractions of fine ferrospheres related to environmentally hazardous PM2.5, PM2.5–10, and PM10 were for the first time separated from fly ash produced during combustion of Ekibastuz coal. It was determined that the average diameter of globules in narrow fractions is 1, 2, 3, and 7 μm. The major components of chemical composition are Fe2O3 (57–60) wt %, SiO2 (25–28 wt %), and Al2O3 (10–12 wt %). The phase composition is represented by crystalline phases, including ferrospinel, α-Fe2O3, ε-Fe2O3, mullite, and quartz, as well as the amorphous glass phase. Mössbauer spectroscopy and magnetic measurements confirmed the formation of nanoscale particles of ε-Fe2O3. Stabilization of the ε-Fe2O3 metastable phase, with quite ideal distribution of iron cations, occurs in the glass matrix due to the rapid cooling of fine globules during their formation from mineral components of coal.