Benefits of Coal Ash

by Rudy P. SysAdmin at howtofindthemoney

Coal combustion products – often referred to as “coal ash”– are solid materials produced when coal is burned to generate electricity. There are many good reasons to view coal ash as a resource, rather than a waste. Using it conserves natural resources and saves energy. In many cases, products made with coal ash perform better than products made without it.

As coal continues to produce approximately one-third of the electricity generation in the United States, significant volumes of coal ash are produced. Since 1968, the American Coal Ash Association has tracked the production and use of all types of coal ash. These surveys are intended to show broad utilization patterns and ACAA’s data have been accepted by industry and numerous government agencies as the best available metrics of beneficial use practices.

Sixty-four percent of the coal ash produced during 2017 was recycled – establishing a new record and marking the third consecutive year that more than half of the coal ash produced in the United States was beneficially used rather than disposed. Use of coal fly ash in concrete remained approximately level with the prior year at 14.1 million tons. Concrete producers and consumers indicated a desire to use more fly ash, but several regional markets were affected by shifting supply dynamics associated with closures of coal-fueled power plants. Utilization of a key “non-ash” coal combustion product increased significantly. Synthetic gypsum is a byproduct of flue gas desulfurization units, also known as “scrubbers,” located at coal-fueled power plants. Use of synthetic gypsum in panel products (i.e. wallboard) increased 60 percent to 15.9 million tons in 2017. The large increase is attributed to lower-than-usual synthetic gypsum shipments reported in the prior year and growth in wallboard production

Fly Ash

Fly ash is a powdery material that is captured by emissions control equipment before it can “fly” up the stack. Mostly comprised of silicas, aluminas and calcium compounds, fly ash has mechanical and chemical properties that make it a valuable ingredient in a wide range of concrete products. Roads, bridges, buildings, concrete blocks and other concrete products commonly contain fly ash.

Concrete made with coal fly ash is stronger and more durable than concrete made with cement alone. By reducing the amount of manufactured cement needed to produce concrete, fly ash accounts for approximately 14 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions reductions each year. Other major uses for fly ash include constructing structural fills and embankments, waste stabilization and solidification, mine reclamation, and use as raw feed in cement manufacturing.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association estimates coal fly ash use in roads and bridges saves $5.2 billion per year in U.S. construction costs

Bottom Ash

Bottom ash is a heavier, granular material that is collected from the “bottom” of coal-fueled boilers. Bottom ash is often used as an aggregate, replacing sand and gravel. Bottom ash is often used as an ingredient in manufacturing concrete blocks.

Other major uses for bottom ash include constructing structural fills and embankments, mine reclamation, and use as raw feed in cement manufacturing.

Synthetic Gypsum

Power plants equipped with flue gas desulphurization (“FGD”) emissions controls, also known as “scrubbers,” create byproducts that include synthetic gypsum. Although this material is not technically “ash” because it is not present in the coal, it is managed and regulated as a coal combustion product.

Scrubbers utilize high-calcium sorbents, such as lime or limestone, to absorb sulfur and other elements from flue gases. Depending on the scrubber configuration, the byproducts vary in consistency from wet sludge to dry powdered material.

Synthetic gypsum is used extensively in the manufacturing of wallboard. A rapidly growing use of synthetic gypsum is in agriculture, where it is used to improve soil conditions and prevent runoff of fertilizers and pesticides.

Other major uses for synthetic gypsum include waste stabilization, mine reclamation, and cement manufacturing.

More than half of the gypsum wallboard manufactured in the United States utilizes synthetic gypsum from coal-fueled power plants.

Synthetic gypsum applied to farm fields improves soil quality and performance.

Other Products and Uses

Boiler Slag – is a molten ash collected at the base of older generation boilers that is quenched with water and shatters into black, angular particles having a smooth, glassy appearance. Boiler slag is in high demand for beneficial use as blasting grit and roofing granules, but supplies are decreasing because of the retirement from service of older power plants that produce boiler slag.

Cenospheres – are harvested from fly ash and are comprised of microscopic hollow spheres. Cenospheres are strong and lightweight, making them useful as fillers in a wide variety of materials including concrete, paint, plastics and metal composites.

FBC Ash – is a category of ash from Fluidized Bed Combustion power plants. These plants reclaim waste coal for fuel and create an ash by-product that is most commonly used to reclaim abandoned surface mines and abate acid mine drainage. Ash from FBC power plants can also be used for waste and soil stabilization

New Uses on Horizon

New beneficial uses for coal ash are continually under development. Researchers and ash marketers are currently focusing heavily on the potential for harvesting ash that has already been disposed for potential beneficial use. There is also renewed interest in the potential for extracting strategic rare earth minerals from ash for use in electronics manufacturing.

Coal Liquefaction/Gasification Companies:

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About Rudy P. Magnate II   SysAdmin at howtofindthemoney

4,044 connections, 69 recommendations, 14,211 honor points.
Joined APSense since, April 9th, 2013, From Solo, Indonesia.

Created on May 20th 2019 01:17. Viewed 1,889 times.


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