Distribution and accumulation of trace metals at a coal fired power plant and adjacent cooling lake
Smith, K.E.; Anderson, W.L.
Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 32(4): 691-721
The distribution of 13 elements at the Kincaid Generating Station-Lake Sangchris complex in central Illinois [USA] was investigated by collecting and analyzing samples of coal, slag, fly ash, airborne particulate matter, soil, lake sediment, aquatic macrophytes, clams and fish. Of the 2.7 million metric tons of coal burned during the study, it was estimated that up to 97% of some metals contained in the coal escaped the power plant through atmospheric discharge. Considerable amounts of B, Cr, N, Pb, S and V were contained in the slag produced by the plant. These metals leached from the slag, and the leachates could have entered Lake Sangchris. Positive correlations were found between metal concentrations in the airborne pariculate matter and the time that a sampler was beneath the Kincaid Generating Station's smokestack plume. Significant variations in the soil concentrations of Cd, Pb and Zn were found in the predominantly downwind direction from the power plant. The highest concentrations of most metals in American pondweed were in the discharge arm of the lake, while the highest concentrations of all metals were in clams collected from the slag pond. Fish from the control arm of the lake had the highest concentrations of metals overall, while the Hg concentrations were low when compared with those of fish from other Illinois lakes. Compared with other materials analyzed from Lake Sangchris, the fish contained the lowest concentrations of all metals except Hg which was higher in the fish than in any other material.