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Selenium in coal-fired steam plant emissions
Andren, AW; Klein, DH; Talmi, Y
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Environmental Science and Technology
Selenium was measured in coal, slag, and flue gas at the Allen Steam Plant in Memphis, Tenn. Approximately 0.3% of the coal-derived selenium was incorporated into slag. Sixty-eight percent of the Se was found on the fly ash particles while the rest was found in the vapor phase. Since the electrostatic precipitators at the plant are very efficient for fly ash removal, 93% of the emitted Se existed in the vapor phase. The major part of Se discharge from the steam plant occurs via fly ash removal to nearby slag ponds. All of the selenium in the slag and flue gas exists as elemental Se and is thus not immediately available for plant uptake. Selenium emission rates from data collected at the steam plant were used to calculate the minimum mobilization of Se from coal consumption in the U.S. and world. calculations indicate that 1.5 to 2.5 times as much Se is mobilized by man through coal burning as by natural weathering.
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