Coal Ash

Coal Ash Disposal

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Coal combustion residuals, commonly known as coal ash, are created when coal is burned by power plants to produce electricity. Coal ash is one of the largest types of industrial waste generated in the United States. In 2012, 470 coal-fired electric utilities generated about 110 million tons of coal ash.

Coal ash includes a number of by-products produced from burning coal, including:

  • Fly Ash- a very fine, powdery material composed mostly of silica made from the burning of finely ground coal in a boiler.
  • Bottom Ash- a coarse, angular ash particle that is too large to be carried up into the smoke stacks so it forms in the bottom of the coal furnace.
  • Boiler Slag- molten bottom ash from slag tap and cyclone type furnaces that turns into pellets that have a smooth glassy appearance after it is cooled with water.
  • Flue Gas Desulfurization Material- a material leftover from the process of reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from a coal-fired boiler that can be a wet sludge consisting of calcium sulfite or calcium sulfate or a dry powered material that is a mixture of sulfites and sulfates.

Coal ash contains contaminants like mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Without proper management, these contaminants can pollute waterways, groundwater, drinking water, and the air. Let Wastebits help you find the right vendor(s) to assist with disposal and recycling coal ash.

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