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Abstract

Potential sources of rare earth elements are sought after in the world by many researchers. Coal ash obtained at high temperatures (HTA ) is considered among these sources. The aim of the study was an evaluation of the suitability of the high temperature ash (HTA ) formed during the combustion of bituminous coal from the Ruda beds of the PniĆ³wek coal mine as an potential resource of REY . The 13 samples of HTA obtained from the combustion of metabituminous (B) coal were analyzed. The analyses showed that the examined HTA samples varied in their chemical composition. In accordance with the chemical classification of HTA , the analyzed ash samples were classified as belonging to the following types: sialic, sialocalcic, sialoferricalcic, calsialic, fericalsialic, ferisialic. The research has shown that the rare earth elements content (REY ) in examined HTA samples are characterized by high variability. The average REY content in the analyzed ashes was 2.5 times higher than the world average (404 ppm). Among rare earth elements, the light elements (LREY ) were the most abundant. Heavy elements (HREY ) had the lowest share. A comparison of the content of the individual rare earth elements in HTA samples and in UCC showed that it was almost 20 times higher than in UCC. The distribution patterns of REY plotted for all samples within their entire range were positioned above the reference level and these curves were of the M-H or M-L type. The data presented indicate, that the analyzed ash samples should be regarded as promising REY raw materials. Considering the fact that in 7 out of 13 analyzed ash samples the REY content was higher than 800 ppm, REY recovery from these ashes may prove to be economic.
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