In-House R&D

NETL conducts a wide variety of in-house research within its Office of Science and Technology. Research pertaining to IEP-Coal Utilization By-Products (CUB) is conducted within the By-Product Utilization Team of the Environmental Science and Technology Division

The objective of the By-Product Utilization Team is to investigate the environmental implications of reusing CUB. Bottom and fly ash can be used in applications including cement and concrete formulation, mine-land reclamation, and agriculture. The gypsum produced as a byproduct of some wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD) units is currently used in the manufacture of wallboard. The team’s goal is to proactively address environmental concerns that arise as a result of changes in the nature of the byproduct, such as increased loss of ignition in fly ashes from low-NOx burners, and the production of additional or altered by-products from new pollution control technologies.

  • The team’s long-term leaching protocol, which has been applied to a large selection of conventional Class F ashes, is now being applied to lignite ashes and to the byproducts of new technologies such as selective catalytic reduction/selective non-catalytic reduction and mercury-capture. Current work also focuses on the fate of mercury in CUB.
  • The team has developed a short-term leaching test that can be used to evaluate the environmental safety of various environment/CUB combinations. Currently, it is being evaluated in an inter-laboratory comparison of batch leaching techniques.
  • The team’s work on high calcium residues, including low-rank coal ashes, FGD, wallboard and CUB containing calcium- based sorbents is using both fixed-bed and continuously stirred leaching procedures. While the current emphasis is on mercury, the leaching of other metals is also being monitored.
  • The team is investigating the presence and leachability of aromatic and polynuclear-aromatic hydrocarbons in CUB and is attempting to determine if current and contemplated pollution control technologies affect the amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found.
  • Past work has also included a field investigation of the effects of using alkaline CUB to control acid mine drainage from surface coal mine spoils at a local airport.
     

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