tech details

Device and Method for Separating Minerals, Carbon and Cement Additives from Fly Ash

Opportunity

Research is currently active on the patented technology "Device and Method for Separating Minerals, Carbon, and Cement Additives from Fly Ash." The technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the United States Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.


Overview

This invention includes a device, along with a method, to recover and use fly ash as a source of high purity carbon, ash, and minerals. The device and associated method can isolate components of the fly ash based on size and electrical charge.

By improving beneficiation and usage methods, fly ash can be transformed from a waste material to a valuable by-product. Recent shifts to low nitrogen oxide burners have impacted the use of power-plant-derived fly ash, which can increase the carbon content of the ash above the specification for its use in Portland cement. That factor is significant in that the ability to extract high purity carbon, ash, and minerals is important in the development and application of cost-effective beneficiation technologies for fly ash separation. Separation technologies currently exist in the field, but many of those technologies are applicable to aqueous solutions. Although dry separation methods exist, they do not differentiate significantly among the various substances in a complex dry mixture, such as fly ash.

This patented technology overcomes the limitations of existing technologies by providing a method to efficiently extract high purity carbon, ash, and minerals from fly ash in a single phase without the need for aqueous or nonaqueous separation techniques. This new technology uses triboelectrostatic separation to concentrate components based on size and electrical charge, resulting in a more effective and thorough separation. Specifically, the technology separates, sizes, imparts an electrical charge, subjects the particles to an electric field, and collects the particles based on size and charge.


Significance

  • Transforms fly ash into a valuable by-product
  • Separates organic and inorganic particles from a dry mixture
  • Separates the components of fly ash in a single phase
  • Separates the components based on size and electrical charge
  • Overcomes limitations of existing separation technologies
  • Reduces the carbon content in fly ash


Applications

  • Cement manufacturing
  • Any related separation processes


Related Patents

U.S. Patent No. 6,681,938, issued June 27, 2004, titled "Device and Method for Separating Minerals, Carbon, and Cement Additives from Fly Ash."

Inventors: Thomas Link, Michael Schoffstall, and Yee Soong


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