Coal fly ash and synthetic coal fly ash aggregates as reactive media to remove zinc from aqueous solutions

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Coal fly ash (CF) and synthetic coal fly ash aggregates (SCFAs) were evaluated as low-cost reactive media for the remediation of groundwater contaminated with Zn. The SCFAs were prepared by mixing CF, sodium silicate, and deionized (DI) water. Serial batch kinetic and static tests were conducted on both CF and SCFAs, under various conditions (i.e., pH, initial Zn concentration, reaction time, and solid dosage), using Zn(NO3)2·6H2O solutions. Serial column tests were also conducted on both CF and SCFAs. The final rather than the initial pH of the solution had a greater effect on the removal of Zn. At pH > 7.0, the removal of Zn was due to precipitation, whereas at <7.0, the removal of Zn was due to adsorption onto the reactive media. The removal of Zn increased with increasing dosage of the reactive medium and decreasing initial Zn concentration. The results of the column and batch tests were comparable. Preferential flow paths were observed with CF, but not SCFA. The hydraulic conductivity of CF was more significantly decreased than that of SCFA with increasing dry density of the specimen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-246
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009 May 15



  • Coal fly ash
  • Contaminated groundwater
  • Reactive media
  • Synthetic coal fly ash aggregate
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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