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U.S. Department of Energy selects additional projects seeking beneficial uses for coal combustion residuals

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World Coal,

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected two projects to receive approximately US$2 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development. The projects will improve coal combustion residuals management under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002190, Research for Innovative Emission Reduction Technologies Related to Coal Combustion Residuals.

DOE selected two projects in July 2020 under the first round of selections. The selected projects announced today represent the second round of selections for this FOA.

Coal combustion residuals (CCRs) consist primarily of fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, flue gas desulfurisation (FGD) gypsum, and other FGD-solid by-products, as well as fluidised bed combustor ash from pulverised coal-fired power plants and other combustion-based coal power plants. CCRs constitute one the largest classes of industrial byproducts generated in the United States. R&D under this FOA aims to economically increase the beneficial use and advance the management of CCRs, thereby reducing the volume of CCRs needed to be disposed of in impoundments while protecting the environment and the health and safety of the public.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the projects, which fall under one area of interest (AOI):

AOI 1: Advanced Concepts and Technologies to Increase Beneficial Use of CCR

  1. Beneficial Use of Harvested Ponded Fly Ash and Landfilled FGD (Flue Gas Desulfurisation) Materials for High-Volume Surface Mine Reclamation – The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) intends to focus on the viability of beneficial use of harvested CCRs, especially ponded fly ash and landfilled FGD by-products (stabilised sulfite FGD material and FGD gypsum) in the vicinity of coal ash pond facilities and FGD landfills. These may be utilised in the high-volume reclamation of abandoned surface coal mine sites across the eastern and midwestern coal mining regions of the US. The proposed project is designed to demonstrate the laboratory- and bench-scale testing and construction methods that can be applied to a wide variety of US ash ponds, closed FGD landfills, and abandoned coal mine sites. The project seeks to reduce byproduct liability and disposal costs for coal-fired utilities in a manner that is economically viable and beneficial to the environment, public health and safety and to the utilities. DOE Funding: US$999 872; Non- DOE Funding: US$274 124; Total Value: US$1 273 996.
  2. Surface Modified Fly Ash for Value Added Products (SuMo Fly Ash) – University of Illinois (Champaign, Illinois) plans to develop a technology to encapsulate coal fly ash particles in sulfurised vegetable oil, enhancing physical and mechanical properties of the fly ash as a filler material when applied in commercial products. This project is expected to significantly advance the knowledge base and technology for synthesising coated fly ash particles for application in different polymer matrices to increase cross-linking, compatibility, air-entrainment and decrease the leaching potential of metals of concern. DOE Funding: US$983 814; Non-DOE Funding: US$250 201; Total Value: US$1 234 015.

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