Nano-sized particles (1–100 nm) comprise a considerable fraction of coal fly ash (CFA). They are unique due to their large surface area and higher reactivity compared to larger CFA particles. As they are formed by nucleation of volatilised elements or through chemical reactions, nano-scale CFA particles have been shown to take up greater quantities of elemental ions and bind them more strongly than larger particles, diminishing the fraction of desorbed ions. Despite this and the large volume of literature on acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment using CFA, little is described about the specific role of nanoparticles in this process. This chapter therefore sets out to highlight this, beginning by delineating nanoparticle characteristics that make them good adsorbents followed by details of their formation and action in metal adsorption.
Part of the book: Coal Fly Ash Beneficiation