Although renewables continue to grow in importance as energy sources in the US and many other countries, most electricity is still produced using the fossil fuels coal and natural gas. Properly managing the combustion byproducts of these fuels, like fly ash and flue gas desulfurization wastewater from coal-fired power plants, is essential for complying with existing regulations and with the impending EPA effluent limitation guidelines (ELGs) and coal combustion residuals (CCR) regulations. Brooks Applied Labs (BAL) has been a trusted partner for the electric power industry for decades, providing reliable elemental and metal speciation data to support compliance monitoring, treatability studies, and more.

Some of the services we offer to support the power generation industry including the following:

  • Ultra-low quantitation of elements of concern like arsenic, selenium, chromium, boron, and mercury. We offer routine compliance methods, such as EPA 1631E for trace mercury quantitation or EPA 200.8 for metals. But few promulgated methods were designed to account for the unique challenges and chemistry of many industrial wastewaters. Therefore, BAL has also developed customized preparatory methods and employs advanced instrumentation (e.g., ICP-QQQ-MS) to ensure our clients receive the most accurate data at the trace levels needed to meet current and future regulatory limits.
  • Advanced speciation methods to aid with identifying appropriate treatment options and monitoring treatment systems to ensure their proper operation. Selenium, arsenic, mercury, chromium, thallium, manganese, and iron are just a few of the elements for which we can quantify discrete molecular forms. No other commercial laboratory has the decades of experience that BAL does measuring such an extensive range of metal and metalloid species.
  • Selective sequential extractions (SSEs) and speciation analyses for investigating the mobility and bioavailability of elements in solids like CCRs. SSEs are also useful for evaluating the effectiveness of remediation techniques or natural attenuation processes.
  • True total metals digestions of solids (e.g., fly ash) to aid in mass balance studies.
  • Halogen quantitation and halogen speciation to investigate the fate of mercury control additives that contain bromine or iodine.

Beyond these routine services, Brooks Applied Labs also performs customized analyses and treatability studies to support the needs of our clients. Please contact us to leverage our experience for your next project! 

Power News

Se and Hg in Fish Collected Near Power Plants

Brooks Applied Labs’ data was featured prominently in a recent Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry journal article titled, “Selenium and Mercury in Freshwater Fish Muscle Tissues and Otoliths: A Comparative Analysis”.

Bioavailability of Mercury in Power Plant Wastewater

Standard regulatory practices limit the total concentration of toxic metals, such as mercury, when discharged from industrial sources, ignoring the importance of speciation and bioavailability. This can result in dischargers spending more on wastewater treatment than...

Method Spotlight: Selenium Speciation of FGD Wastewaters

Coal usually contains high levels of selenium, particularly from sources that are also high in sulfur. This results in waste streams from coal-fired power plants having selenium concentrations that far exceed industrial discharge limits. Removal of selenium from these...