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Geochemistry of Coal Ash in the Equatorial Wet Disposal System Environment
The coal utilization in thermal power plants in Malaysia has increased significantly which produces an enormous amount of coal combustion by-product (CCBP) or coal ash and poses severe disposal problem. As each coal ash is distinct, this study presents the geochemistry of the coal ash, in particular fly ash, produced from the combustion of local coal from Kuching Sarawak, Malaysia. The geochemical composition of the ash showed a high amount of silica, alumina, iron oxides and alkalies which was found to be a convenient starting material for the hydrothermal synthesis of zeolites with the higher Na2O percentage being a positive factor for its alkaline activation; while the mineral phases are mainly quartz, mullite, calcium oxide, silica, and iron oxide hydrate. The geochemical changes upon alkali activation that can be predicted in a similar type of ash have been described in this paper. The result shows that this particular ash has a good potential for a high value industrial product like zeolites upon alkali activation.
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