Trace elemental characterization of fly ash

Michaela Kröppl, Irene Lahoz-Munoz, Michaela Zeiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to determine heavy metal concentrations in ash samples taken from the filter of the gas cleaning system of biomass incinerators in Austria. Knowing the concentrations of heavy metals is important for the decision of further treatment or utilization of the ashes. The heavy metals contained in the ashes remain in the bottom ash of the incinerator or leave the incinerator with the off-gas and are collected in the off-gas filter. The amount of the metals in the collected fly ash depends on the composition of the input material. The aim of this study was to examine this influence and compare the results with literature data. For measurement, the fly ash samples were at first dissolved in a microwave digestion unit using nitric acid and hydrochloric acid. Afterwards, 20 metals were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. Al, Fe, Mg, Mn, and Zn were found in higher concentrations in the fly ash samples. The enrichment factor between the concentrations in the fly ash and the concentrations in the input material was on average in the range of 18.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)886-894
Number of pages9
JournalToxicological and Environmental Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Biomass incineration
  • Fly ash
  • Heavy metals


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