Chemical and physical properties of dry flue gas desulfurization products

David A. Kost, Jerry M. Bigham, Richard C. Stehouwer, Joel H. Beeghly, Randy Fowler, Samuel J. Traina, William E. Wolfe, Warren A. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Beneficial and environmentally safe recycling of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) products requires detailed knowledge of their chemical and physical properties. We analyzed 59 dry FGD samples collected from 13 locations representing four major FGD scrubbing technologies. The chemistry of all samples was dominated by Ca, S, Al, Fe, and Si and strong preferential partitioning into the acid insoluble residue (i.e., coal ash residue) was observed for Al, Ba, Be, Cr, Fe, Li, K, Pb, Si, and V. Sulfur, Ca, and Mg occurred primarily in water- or acid-soluble forms associated with the sorbents or scrubber reaction products. Deionized water leachates (American Society for Testing and Materials [ASTM] method) and dilute acetic acid leachates (toxicity characteristic leaching procedure [TCLP] method) had mean pH values of >11.2 and high mean concentrations of S (primarily as SO42-) and Ca. Concentrations of Ag, As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Hg, Pb, and Se (except for ASTM Se in two samples) were below drinking water standards in both ASTM and TCLP leachates. Total toxicity equivalents (TEQ) of dioxins, for two FGD products used for mine reclamation, were 0.48 and 0.53 ng kg-1. This was similar to the background level of the mine spoil (0.57 ng kg-1). The FGD materials were mostly uniform in particle size. Specific surface area (m2 g-1) was related to particle size and varied from 1.3 for bed ash to 9.5 for spray dryer material. Many of the chemical and physical properties of these FGD samples were associated with the quality of the coal rather than the combustion and SO2 scrubbing processes used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-686
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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