The physical properties of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) present many challenges to utility owners and environmental professionals. The waste material (commonly referred to as Coal Ash) is most often captured and stored in open ponds or impoundments, which allow for unrestricted stormwater infiltration, resulting in saturated CCR.
Rainy weather is often the last thing anyone wants to see on the forecast, whether your plans involve a round of 18, a day out on the boat, or a power plant CCR basin closure.
Water, while vital for life, can be an expensive nuisance when it comes at the wrong time and place.
For electric power utilities, closing a CCR basin during rainy season often result in the following scenarios:
- Missed deadlines
- Excessive chemical expenses, and
- Over-budget labor due to out-of-scope ash drying.
Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) are a key technology for safe, fast, and efficient stabilization of wet and saturated coal combustion residuals (CCR), a major waste management challenge for electric power utilities in the US. Traditional pozzolanic stabilization reagents, such as quicklime, lime kiln dust (LKD), and Portland cement, often perform inadequately with CCR material that is heavily layered, unusually difficult to dewater, or when operating in excessively wet weather conditions. However, the introduction of small dosage rates of SAPs (0.3%-1.0%), either as a standalone technology or as a component of a pozzolan blend, provides CCR management contractors a modern tool for reliable and predictable CCR drying.