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Environmental fate & pathways

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Additional information

The composition, physical and chemical properties of ash (residues), coal are variable due to the variability of the raw materials and the combustion and abatement technologies used. The combustion of coal in thermal power stations results in the product of large quantities of ashes (fly ash, bottom ash and slag). Over 50 million tonnes of ash are produced in Europe annually (UNIPEDE, 1997). Based on the chemical nature of ashes (inorganic structure and chemical stability of the main compound Si-O bond), neither abiotic degradation through photo- or chemical degradation, nor biodegradation (due the absence of organic matter) is relevant. Therefore, biotic and abiotic degradation is considered negligible. Adsorption to soil and sediments is ion specific while numerous evidence reveal that the bioaccumulation potential of the contained metals and metalloids from the substance is low.