A Study of the Effect of the Extraction Procedure in the Analysis of Organic Compounds Adsorbed on Coal Ash

Shobha Purushothama, Western Kentucky University


The organic compounds found adsorbed on coal fly ash have been a cause for concern since the early days of the industrial revolution. A vast majority of the compounds reported as being adsorbed on the ash are polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). This study represents an attempt to evaluate the parameters involved in the extraction, detection and quantitation of these organic compounds. Though no definite conclusions could be reached as to the most efficient method of extraction, interesting results were obtained with regarding the choice of the solvent and the temperature programming on the GC/MS used for analysis. The solvent of choice appears to be methylene chloride. A slow heating rate appears to give better results as compared to one in which the components elute out in a short time.