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Fly Ash Properties and Mercury Sorbent Affect Mercury Release from Curing Concrete

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journal contribution
posted on 16.12.2015, 15:38 by Danold W. Golightly, Chin-Min Cheng, Linda K. Weavers, Harold W. Walker, William E. Wolfe
The release of mercury from concrete containing fly ashes from various generator boilers and powdered activated carbon sorbent used to capture mercury was measured in laboratory experiments. Release of gaseous mercury from these concretes was less than 0.31% of the total quantity of mercury present. The observed gaseous emissions of mercury during the curing process demonstrated a dependency on the organic carbon content of the fly ash, with mercury release decreasing with increasing carbon content. Further, lower gaseous emissions of mercury were observed for concretes incorporating ash containing activated carbon sorbent than would be expected based on the observed association with organic carbon, suggesting that the powdered activated carbon more tightly binds the mercury as compared to unburned carbon in the ash. Following the initial 28-day curing interval, mercury release diminished with time. In separate leaching experiments, average mercury concentrations leached from fly ash concretes were less than 4.1 ng/L after 18 h and 7 days, demonstrating that less than 0.02% of the mercury was released during leaching.