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Application of thermal desorption for the identification of mercury species in solids derived from coal utilization

AuthorsRumayor Villamil, Marta ; Díaz Somoano, Mercedes ; López Antón, María Antonia ; Martínez Tarazona, María Rosa
KeywordsMercury speciation
Solid samples
Thermal desorption
Sequential extraction
Issue DateAug-2014
CitationChemosphere 119: 459-465 (2015)
AbstractThe speciation of mercury is currently attracting widespread interest because the emission, transport, deposition and behaviour of toxic mercury species depend on its chemical form. The identification of these species in low concentrations is no easy task and it is even more complex in coal combustion products due to the fact that these products contain organic and mineral matter that give rise to broad peaks and make it difficult to carry out qualitative and quantitative analysis. In this work, a solution to this problem is proposed using a method based on thermal desorption. A sequential extraction procedure was employed for the comparison and validation of the method developed. Samples of fly ashes and soils were analyzed by both of these methods, and thermal desorption was found to be an appropriate technique for mercury speciation. Even in the case of low mercury contents, recovery percentages were close to 100%. The main mercury species identified in the samples studied were HgS and, to a lesser extent, HgO and HgSO4. In addition, although the presence of mercury complexes cannot be demonstrated, the desorption behaviour and sequential extraction results suggest that this element might be associated with the mineral matrix or with carbon particles in some of the solids.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.07.010
Appears in Collections:(INCAR) Artículos
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