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EPA evaluation finds uses for coal ash

World Coal,

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its evaluation of the two largest beneficial uses of encapsulated coal combustion residuals (CCR or coal ash):

  • Use in concrete as a substitute for portland cement
  • Use of flue gas desulfurization gypsum as a substitute for mined gypsum in wallboard.

The agency’s evaluation concluded that the beneficial use of encapsulated CCRs in concrete and wallboard is appropriate because they are comparable to virgin materials or below the agency’s health and environmental benchmarks.

These two uses account for nearly half of the total amount of coal ash that is beneficially used.

“The protective reuse of coal ash advances sustainability by saving valuable resources, reducing costs, and lessening environmental impacts, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” explained Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

In evaluating these two beneficial uses, EPA used the newly developed Methodology for Evaluating Encapsulated Beneficial Uses of Coal Combustion Residuals. The methodology is intended to assist states and other interested parties with evaluating and making informed determinations about encapsulated beneficial uses of CCRs.

More information on the methodology can be found here.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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