Boron and strontium isotopic characterization of coal combustion residuals: validation of new environmental tracers.

dc.contributor.author

Ruhl, Laura S

dc.contributor.author

Dwyer, Gary S

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Hsu-Kim, Heileen

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Hower, James C

dc.contributor.author

Vengosh, Avner

dc.coverage.spatial

United States

dc.date.accessioned

2015-01-05T00:28:06Z

dc.date.issued

2014-12-16

dc.description.abstract

In the U.S., coal fired power plants produce over 136 million tons of coal combustion residuals (CCRs) annually. CCRs are enriched in toxic elements, and their leachates can have significant impacts on water quality. Here we report the boron and strontium isotopic ratios of leaching experiments on CCRs from a variety of coal sources (Appalachian, Illinois, and Powder River Basins). CCR leachates had a mostly negative δ(11)B, ranging from -17.6 to +6.3‰, and (87)Sr/(86)Sr ranging from 0.70975 to 0.71251. Additionally, we utilized these isotopic ratios for tracing CCR contaminants in different environments: (1) the 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal ash spill affected waters; (2) CCR effluents from power plants in Tennessee and North Carolina; (3) lakes and rivers affected by CCR effluents in North Carolina; and (4) porewater extracted from sediments in lakes affected by CCRs. The boron isotopes measured in these environments had a distinctive negative δ(11)B signature relative to background waters. In contrast (87)Sr/(86)Sr ratios in CCRs were not always exclusively different from background, limiting their use as a CCR tracer. This investigation demonstrates the validity of the combined geochemical and isotopic approach as a unique and practical identification method for delineating and evaluating the environmental impact of CCRs.

dc.identifier

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25417938

dc.identifier.eissn

1520-5851

dc.identifier.uri

https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9347

dc.language

eng

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American Chemical Society (ACS)

dc.relation.ispartof

Environ Sci Technol

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10.1021/es503746v

dc.subject

Appalachian Region

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Boron

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Coal

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Coal Ash

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Environmental Monitoring

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Environmental Pollutants

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Illinois

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Isotopes

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Power Plants

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Rivers

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Strontium Isotopes

dc.title

Boron and strontium isotopic characterization of coal combustion residuals: validation of new environmental tracers.

dc.type

Journal article

duke.contributor.orcid

Hsu-Kim, Heileen|0000-0003-0675-4308

duke.contributor.orcid

Vengosh, Avner|0000-0001-8928-0157

pubs.author-url

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25417938

pubs.begin-page

14790

pubs.end-page

14798

pubs.issue

24

pubs.organisational-group

Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Duke

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Earth and Ocean Sciences

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Environmental Sciences and Policy

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Global Health Institute

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Institutes and Provost's Academic Units

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Nicholas School of the Environment

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Pratt School of Engineering

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University Institutes and Centers

pubs.publication-status

Published

pubs.volume

48

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