Ram, L.C. and Masto, R.E. (2010) An appraisal of the potential use of fly ash for reclaiming coal mine spoil. Journal of Environmental Management , 91 (3). pp. 603-617. ISSN 0301-4797

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Growing dependence on coal-fired power plants for electrical generation in many countries presents ongoing environmental challenges. Burning pulverized coal in thermal power plants (TPPs) generates large amounts of fly ash (FA) that must be disposed of or otherwise handled, in an environmentally-sound manner. A possible option for dealing with fly ash is to use it as an amendment for mine spoil or other damaged soil. It has been demonstrated through studies in India and other countries that FA alone or in combination with organic or inorganic materials can be used in a productive manner for reclamation of mine spoil. The characteristics of FA, including silt-sized particles, lighter materials with low bulk density (BD), higher water holding capacity, favorable pH and significant concentrations of many essential plant nutrients, make it a potentially favorable amendment for mine spoil reclamation. Studies have indicated that the application of FA has improved the physical, chemical and biological qualities of soil to which it is applied. The release of trace metals and soluble salts from FA could be a major limitation to its application. This is particularly true of fresh, un-weathered FA or acidic FA, although perhaps not a concern for weathered/pond ash or alkaline FA. Some potential contaminants, especially metals and other salt ions, could be immobilized and rendered biologically inert by the addition of certain inorganic and organic amendments. However, in view of the variability in the characteristics of FAs that are associated with location, feed coal, combustion conditions and other factors, the suitability of a particular FA for a specific soil/mine spoil needs to be critically evaluated before it is applied in order to maximize favorable results and eliminate unexpected consequences. FA generated in India tends to be mostly alkaline, with lower levels of trace elements than are often found in FAs from other countries. The concentrations of potential chemical stressors, predominantly metals, in Indian FAs are often less than established or proposed permissible limits and are thus better suited for soil application. A major logistic limitation to the use of FA could be the cost involved in transport of ash from production to utilization sites.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Coal mining, Land degradation, Reclamation, Mine spoil, Fly ash, Amendments
Subjects: Enviornmental Management
Depositing User: Dr. Satyendra Kumar Singh
Date Deposited: 29 Dec 2011 05:04
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2011 05:04
URI: http://cimfr.csircentral.net/id/eprint/529

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