ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0227.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Other Keywords: coal fly ash; leachates; chemical species; pot culture experiments; translocation; bioconcentration
Online: 9 November 2018 (03:12:39 CET)
This study evaluated the physicochemical, mineralogical properties, mobile chemical species’ bioavailability and translocation in Brassica juncea and Spinacea oleracea L plants of a South African coal fired power utility. Coal fly ash (CFA) disposal is associated with various environmental and health risks including air, soil, surface and ground water pollution due to the leaching of toxic chemical species; these ends up in food webs affecting human health, while repeated inhalation causes bronchitis, silicosis, hair loss and lung cancer. The morphology, chemical, and mineralogical composition of CFA were determined using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray Diffraction, respectively. In pot culture experiments, S. oleracea L and B. juncea plants were grown in three sets of pots containing CFA (set 1), soil (set 2) and a mixture of CFA plus soil at ratio 1:1 (50% CFA: 50% soil) (set 3), while no plants were grown in set 4 as a control for the leachate samples. SEM showed that surface morphology of CFA has a lower degree of sphericity with irregular agglomerations of many particles. The XRF results revealed that CFA contains 43.65%, 22.68% and 10.89% of SiO2, Al2O3 and Fe2O3 respectively which indicate that the CFA is an alumino-silicate material. While XRD showed that the coal CFA contains mullite as a major phase followed by quartz mineral phases. Chemical species such as Fe, Mn, B, Ba and Zn were accumulated highly in most parts of the plant species. However, B. juncea showed higher potential to accumulate chemical species as compared to S. oleracea L. The bioconcentration and translocation factors (BF and TF) showed that B. juncea was the most effective in terms of bioconcentration and translocation of most of the chemical species. This indicates that B. juncea has potential in application for phytoremediation of CFA dumps and could contribute to remediation of CFA dumps and reduction of potential health and environmental impacts associated with CFA.