The study investigates chemical modifications of coal fly ash (FA) treated with HCl or NH4HCO3 or NaOH or Na2edta, based on the research conducted to examine the behaviour of Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions adsorbed from water solution on treated fly ash. In laboratory tests, the equilibrium and kinetics were examined applying various temperatures (293 - 333 K) and pH (2 - 11) values. The maximum Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions adsorption capacity obtained at 293 K, pH 9 and mixing time 2 h from the Langmuir model can be grouped in the following order: FA-NaOH > FA-NH4HCO3 > FA > FA-Na2edta > FA-HCl. The morphology of fly ash grains was examined via small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and images of scanning electron microscope (SEM). The adsorption kinetics data were well fitted by a pseudo-second-order rate model but showed a very poor fit for the pseudofirst order model. The intra-particle model also revealed that there are two separate stages in the sorption process, i.e. the external diffusion and the inter-particle diffusion. Thermodynamics parameters such as free energy, enthalpy and entropy were also determined. A laboratory test demonstrated that the modified coal fly ash worked well for the Cd(II) and Pb(II) ion uptake from polluted waters.
Geopolymers are a new class of materials that can be synthesized using natural minerals, and waste materials. Among these substrates, the use of ﬂy ash is desirable as it involves the conversion of a copious waste material into a useful product. The aim of the research was geopolymers synthesis from coal ﬂy ash and biomass ash. Concentrated sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate solutions were used as activators in geopolymerisation reaction. The results show that both coal ﬂy ash and biomass ash can be utilized as source materials for the production of geopolymers. The surface morphology and chemical composition analysis were examined for the obtained geopolymers and ashes from coal and biomass combustion by SEM-EDS methods. It was found almost total disappearance of spherical forms of grains and reduction the porosity of structure for geopolymer based on ﬂy ash from coal combustion. While the structure of the geopolymer based ash from biomass combustion is more porous. The UV-VIS-NIR spectra were performed on the coal ﬂy ash, biomass ash and geopolymers. They showed that the obtained geopolymers possess optical and photocatalytic properties. The similarity of the geopolymer network and the zeolite framework in relation to ion exchange and accommodation of metal ions open questions on possibilities for the application of geopolymer materials as amorphous analogues of zeolite. The FT-IR spectra analyses were used on the geopolymers before and after metals sorption. It was found that geopolymer based on ash from biomass combustion has better sorption properties compared to geopolymer based on ash from coal combustion.