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The hazards and threats coal ash brings to the environment and the general public are examined in a new study that was published in Environmental Science: Nano. This study looks at how the problems from coal ash may originate from its chemical composition.The National Synchrotron Light Source II at Brookhaven National Laboratory was used for the study by a group of scientists lead by Duke University to examine the chemical composition of coal ash. In the end, they discovered that the amount of dangerous elements that are coal ash byproducts, particularly with regard to arsenic and selenium, is mostly dependent on their structures at the nanoscale.Dr. Helen Hsu-Kim, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, noted that the findings “show just how complex coal ash is as a material.”

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