Coal Ash Asia 2018: A Recap

-Shuozhou City, Shanxi Province, China

A big thank you to everyone who participated in our Coal Ash Asia 2018 proceedings in Shuozhou City, China, this past September 12-15th. This year's topics focused on the high-value utilization of fly ash, FGD gypsum and coal gangue as well as highlight applications in building material products (cement, concrete, geopolymers etc).

A special thank you to our international delegation (click organisation to visit website):

We would like to extend our humble gratitude to our friends at the China Building Materials Academy’s Institute of Technical Information for the Building Materials Industry, in Beijing. This year’s extension and construction of our annual products and services exhibition was our largest in Coal Ash Asia history, with over 50 exhibitors, and a welcome ceremony which included an orchestra playing on instruments made primarily from fly ash!  

New to this year’s proceedings was our Technology Symposium track geared towards new technologies in fly ash, which included discussion on fly ash based aggregates, fillers, and ceramic tiles. Contributors to this track included: Prof. Chang Jiqing from Guangdong Penghu Industrial Co., Ltd., Zhang Jingjie from Shanxi Hujin Coal Electricity New Material Co., Ltd., Ma Liantao from Hengyuan Waste Utilization, and Peter Ma from Shandong Wei Tong Technology Co., Ltd.

Another new feature was our meeting dedicated to new FGD gypsum technologies. Content included alpha high strength gypsum and calcination methods. Contributors included: Prof. Duan Pengxuan from Guilin University of Technology, Prof. Xiang Lan from Tsinghua University, and Li Yushan from Shandong Pingyi Kaiyuan New Building Material Co., Ltd.

This year also welcomes esteemed contributor, Mr. Bill Martin, who led engaged attendees in his workshop, “Fly Ash Use in Road and Embankment Construction”. Here, Mr. Martin led the discussion for industry experts, who explained real-world projects of American and Australian fly-ash in road projects. Also discussed were new technology and applications in road engineering. Attendees were able to openly discuss and compare methods and approaches to road construction, and receive technical explanations as to the process of applying road and embankment technology from start to finish.

We are excited to announce upcoming events and association/research developments in the new year. Please sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch!

 Here are a few pictures from CAA2018! An Album will be available under past events, in the coming weeks.

Want to Download the Conference program from CAA2018? You can find it on our CAA introduction page.

China and Australian Coal Combustion Products Exchange: Millmerran Power Station and Independent Fly Ash Brokers

- Brisbane, Australia

A Chinese delegation including academics, power plant professionals and coal combustion product consumers traveled to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns on a twelve day visit to Australia. The program, led by David Harris, Chairman of the Asian Coal Ash Association, and Bill Martin, senior partner with Coal Ash Solutions, included visits to key construction material and building material laboratories and production facilities.  The coal combustion products exchange took place from November 19th – 30th. 

The first stop on the tour was a visit to Millmerran Power Station and the co-located fly ash and bottom ash processing facility owned and operated by Independent Fly Ash Brokers. Millmerran Power Station, located just west of Brisbane, is a 1000-megawatt coal mine mouth power station, using pulverized coal and producing 3000 tons of coal ash per year. An introduction to the power station was provided by manager Joel Rickuss. The Chinese delegation observed an overview Millmerran, which is of one of the most cost efficient power stations in Australia. This is partly due to being located next to the coal mine. However, Millmerran also recycles the municipal waste water from the nearby city of Toowomba, piping the water to the station for use in their cooling system. The station does not use standard cooling towers, but a radiator system that proves to be very cost effective and resource efficient in a region of Australia where water conservation is a top priority. 

Bottom ash from the power station is being used for road base, improving the quality of roads for the coal mining operation. The fly ash is being collected by Independant Fly ash Brokers (IFB), a company jointly owned by three regional construction materials companies.  Due to the large distance from the markets, only 20-30% of the fly ash is being beneficially utilised. The rest is being used to backfill the coal mine.

The Chinese delegation noticed the difference in safety protocols and in the organization of the power station.

Independent Fly Ash Brokers is a joint venture between Wagners, Neilsens and CaldwellsIFB has a fly ash processing facility that is co-located with Millmerran. IFB pumps dry ash to their classifiers and silos pneumatically. The tour was given by Peter Dennis, IFB's operations manager.

The degree of automation at the IFB facility is impressive. After being pneumatically conveyed from the power station, fly ash is classified and then stored in hoppers, ready to discharge into pneumatic tanker trucks. Drivers of the tanker trucks pull into the loading bay, underneath the hopper outlet. The driver parks the truck and then goes to the operator deck to connect the discharge pipe from the hopper to the inlet on the truck storage tank. The hopper is on a gantry and - in the case of a double tanker truck - can be moved automatically by the truck driver from one tank to the next without moving the truck. The computer system indicates when the volume of ash has reached the tank capacity and automatically shuts off the discharge. 

All of this is done at a single loading control unit and is efficiently designed as trucks do not need to move from station to station. The whole loading process is operated by the truck driver, reducing labour costs and chances for human error. 

The delegation was very impressed by the degree of automation, cleanliness, organisation, and the factory design.

The next visit on our itinerary was to Wagner's Geoploymer. Wagner’s three trading divisions - Wagners Concrete, Quarries and Transport include cement, flyash and lime, reinforcing steel, on site concrete supply, contract crushing and bulk transport, as well as lightweight composite fibre products. Please view the next post in our post SACCP exchange series, for more information on that visit.