Elucidating the atomic structures of different sources of fly ash using X-ray and neutron PDF analysis

Maria Elia Natali, Claire Emily White, Maria Chiara Bignozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This paper presents the comparative results obtained from X-ray and neutron pair distribution function (PDF) analysis aimed at determining the variability in aluminosilicate glass chemistry in five types of class F fly ash (FA). Results have been discussed in light of the complementary information provided by the two methods in order to give a comprehensive overview of FA structure at the nanoscale. The analysis of short range correlations reveals that the bulk glassy structure of FA sources differing in chemical composition are relatively similar, but some specific distinctions in atomic structure are visible in those containing high levels of amorphous VI-coordinated aluminum (e.g., amorphous mullite/alumina), iron and/or carbon (with similar local bonding environment to graphite). The obtained experimental results fill a deficit in literature in the atomic structure and associated variability for class F FA, which is extensively used in several industrial applications including as raw material in alkali-activated cements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-156
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


  • Amorphous materials
  • Atomic structure
  • Fly ash
  • Neutron diffraction
  • Pair distribution function
  • X-ray diffraction


Dive into the research topics of 'Elucidating the atomic structures of different sources of fly ash using X-ray and neutron PDF analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this