Speciation of Copper in Ash from a Fluidized-Bed Boiler Fired with Municipal Solid Waste
Journal article, 2013

Copper is one of the most important trace elements in municipal solid waste (MSW) combustion. Knowledge of the speciation of copper is fundamental for the understanding of the effects of copper compounds on the combustion chemistry, the evaluation of the environmental effects of copper in ash leachates, and the development of methods to recover copper from the MSW combustion ash. In this work, an investigation of the speciation of copper in four ash flows from a bubbling fluidized-bed boiler using synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectrometry is reported. The results showed that copper occurs in oxidation states 0, +1, and +2 in the bed ash and the cyclone ash, i.e., 10-20% Cu-0, 25-35% Cu-I, and 50-60% Cu-II, whereas the filter ash contained copper only in oxidation state +2. The most common copper compounds in the bed ash are copper metal, Cu2O, CuO, and mixed oxides, such as CuCr2O4. The cyclone ash probably contained a mix of copper metal, Cu2O, CuCl, Cu(OH)(2), and CuSO4 center dot 5H(2)O, possibly also CuO. Copper sulfate was found as one of the major species in the filter ash together with a mix of hydroxides and chlorides.

metal speciation

X-Ray absorption spectroscopy

MSWI fly ash



copper compounds


Henric Lassesson

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Nuclear Chemistry

Britt-Marie Steenari

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Environmental Inorganic Chemistry

Energy & Fuels

0887-0624 (ISSN) 1520-5029 (eISSN)

Vol. 27 7 3891-3897

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance


Materials Science

Subject Categories

Chemical Engineering



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