Characterization of solid airborne particles deposited in snow in the vicinity of urban fossil fuel thermal power plant (Western Siberia)
Taylor & Francis
Recognition and detailed characterization of solid particles emitted from thermal power plants in the environment is highly important due to their potential detrimental effects on human health. Snow cover is often used for the identification of the presence of anthropogenic emissions in the environment. However, little is known about types, physical and chemical properties of solid airborne particles (SAP) deposited in snow around thermal power plants. The purpose of this study is to quantify and characterize in detail the traceable SAP deposited in snow in the vicinity of fossil fuel thermal power plant in order to identify their emissions into the environment. Applying the scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction, mineral and anthropogenic phase groups in SAP deposited in snow near the plant as well as in fly ash from dust and gas catcher systems of the same plant were observed. We identified quartz, albite and mullite as most abundant mineral phases and carbonaceous matter, slag and spherical particles (Al-Si-rich, Fe-O-rich, Fe-OAl-Si mixed, and Ca-rich) as dominate anthropogenic phases. This is the first study reporting that silicate mineral like zircon and anthropogenic metal-bearing phases like sulphide-bearing, metal oxide-bearing, intermetallic compoundbearing, and rare-earth element-bearing particles were detected and described as minor abundant phases in snow deposits in the vicinity of the power plant. The identified mineral and anthropogenic phases can be used as tracers for fossil fuel combustion emissions, especially with regard to their possible effect on health of inhabitants living near the power plant.