Acidic processing of fly ash: chemical characterization, morphology, and immersion freezing

Delanie J. Losey, Sarah K. Sihvonen, Daniel P. Veghte, Esther Chong, Miriam Arak Freedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Fly ash can undergo aging in the atmosphere through interactions with sulfuric acid and water. These reactions could result in chemical and physical changes that could affect the cloud condensation or ice nucleation activity of fly ash particles. To explore this process, different water and acid treated fly ash types were characterized with X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), selected area diffraction (SAED), and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). Then, their immersion freezing activity was assessed. With water and acid treatment, a wide variety of metals were leached, depending on the starting composition of the fly ash. Acid treatment resulted in the formation of gypsum, Ca(SO4)·2H2O, for fly ash containing Ca as well as morphological changes. The immersion freezing activity was also assessed for each fly ash system to compare the effects of water and acid processing. Our results support the assertion that fly ash can serve as a cloud condensation or ice nucleus to affect climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1581-1592
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science: Processes and Impacts
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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