Abundances and distribution of minerals and elements in high-alumina coal fly ash from the Jungar Power Plant, Inner Mongolia, China

Shifeng Dai, Lei Zhao, Suping Peng, Chen-Lin Chou, Xibo Wang, Yong Zhang, Dan Li, Yingying Sun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The fly ash from the Jungar Power Plant, Inner Mongolia, China, is unique because it is highly enriched in alumina (Al 2O 3>50%). The fly ash mainly consists of amorphous glass and mullite and trace amounts of corundum, quartz, char, calcite, K-feldspar, clay minerals, and Fe-bearing minerals. The mullite content in fly ash is as high as 37.4% because of high boehmite and kaolinite contents in feed coal. Corundum is a characteristic mineral formed during the combustion of boehmite-rich coal.Samples from the economizer were sieved into six size fractions (<120, 120-160, 160-300, 300-360, 360-500, and >500 mesh) and separated into magnetic, mullite+corundum+quartz (MCQ) and glass phases for mineralogical and chemical analysis. The corundum content increases but amorphous glass decreases with decreasing particle size. Fractions of small particle sizes are relatively high in mullite, probably because mullite was formed from fine clay mineral particles under high-temperature combustion condition. Similarly, fine corundum crystals formed in the boiler from boehmite in feed coal. The magnetic phase consists of hematite, magnetite, magnesioferrite, and MgFeAlO 4 crystals. The MCQ phase is composed of 89% mullite, 6.1% corundum, 4.5% quartz, and 0.5% K-feldspar.Overall, the fly ash from the power plant is significantly enriched in Al 2O 3 with an average of 51.9%, but poor in SiO 2, Fe 2O 3, CaO, MgO, Na 2O, P 2O 5, and As. Arsenic, TiO 2, Th, Al 2O 3, Bi, La, Ga, Ni, and V are high in mullite, and the magnetic matter is enriched in Fe 2O 3, CaO, MnO, TiO 2, Cs, Co, As, Cd, Ba, Ni, Sb, MgO, Zn, and V. The remaining elements are high in the glass fraction. The concentration of K 2O, Na 2O, P 2O 5, Nb, Cr, Ta, U, W, Rb, and Ni do not clearly vary with particle size, while SiO 2 and Hg decrease and the remaining elements clearly increase with decreasing particle size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationICCP-TSOP 2008 Selected papers from the ICCP-TSOP joint meeting 2008: International conference on coal and organic petrology
EditorsIsabel Suarez-Ruiz
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Event2008 ICCP-TSOP Joint Meeting: International Conference on Coal and Organic Petrology - Oviedo, Spain
Duration: Sep 21 2008Sep 27 2008

Publication series

NameInternational Journal of Coal Geology
ISSN (Print)0166-5162


Conference2008 ICCP-TSOP Joint Meeting


  • ISGS
  • High-alumina fly ash
  • Corundum
  • Mullite
  • Minerals
  • Elements
  • Jungar Power Plant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economic Geology
  • Geology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Stratigraphy


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