Coal Ash for Artificial Habitats in Italy
Experiments were carried out on ash derived from an ENEL coal combustion power plant for use as a component in artificial reef blocks. After preliminary laboratory tests to establish the optimum block hydrated lime-coal ash ratio and to determine their leaching capability in sea water, systematic physical, chemical and biological tests were carried out on reef models in an experimental plant. Ash and concrete cubic blocks (20 × 20 × 20 cm), the latter used as reference, were arranged in pyramid shaped reef models inside two trial tanks supplied with flowing sea water. After one year of tests encouraging results have been obtained. No weathering, volume variation or swelling were found; on the other hand, marked compressive strength and sonic velocity increases were recorded. In the tank (water and blocks) chemical tests showed no significant leaching phenomena for chemical elements of environmental concern while laboratory tests showed the blocks' limited leaching capability (ppm) for macrocomponents such as Al, Si, Ca and to a lesser extent (ppb) for hazardous elements like As, Cr, Se, Tl. Studies on biocolonization clearly showed that benthonic settlement on ash blocks was more evident than on concrete ones and that there was a greater number of species and biomass quantity. Chemical tests also showed no bioaccumulation phenomena.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1994-09-01
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