Fly ash originates during the combustion of hard coal when the non-combustible, mineral components of the coal are filtered out of the flue gas in the electrostatic precipitator. A fine dust of mineral particles is created, very similar to those occurring naturally, such as volcanic ash or earths. Fly ash is produced in modern hard coal-fired power plants throughout the world. Using fly ash as a clinker substitute in cement or as a cement replacement additive in concrete can reduce the ecological footprint of the respective cement or concrete per metric ton of fly ash used by a clearly measurable amount of CO2.
Power plant by-products
With more than 40 years of experience in the fly ash business, we are the European expertise leader for our customers in the concrete and cement industry.
As a responsible service provider, we see it as our duty not only to give the best for our customers and employees. Ethically correct and transparent business processes, the protection of the environment and regional social commitment are also important components of our corporate identity.
Fly ash tweaks concrete for high performance
Our hard coal fly ash is very much in demand among our customers from the construction materials industry. Fly ash can be put to many different uses.
Fly ash can bring its strengths fully to bear above all in the production of concrete and cement. In the concrete, the fine round particles of fly ash act like small ball bearings, improving the water demand. The concrete is easier to work and, in the case of shotcrete and high performance concrete, can be better compacted. The strength of the concrete is also significantly improved because the fly ash particles fill out the cavities in the concrete. Furthermore, the pozzolanic reactivity, i.e. the continued reaction of the fly ash with the calcium hydroxide from the cement and water in the concrete, has a positive long-term effect on the strength and resistance of the concrete.
Due to this ongoing reaction, which usually continues for years, the concrete becomes increasingly more compact, stable and durable. This makes it more resistant, for example against the effects of acid or sulfate. Fly ash thus lends the concrete properties that are required especially for bridges, tunnels, cooling towers, sewers and foundations.
To ensure its quality, we have the material properties of the fly ash regularly examined in our Construction Materials Laboratory.
Environmentally friendly lightweight aggregate
Light, versatile in use and climate-friendly – bottom ash is an easy to use construction material which is used mostly in the production of concrete goods, in horticulture and landscaping, and as filling material in road building. The individual grains have a porous structure that gives them material characteristics similar to other natural and artificial lightweight aggregates. This combines with a high level of environmental compatibility: The use of bottom ash conserves natural resources; moreover, no additional energy is consumed to produce it. On top of that, bottom ash is easily recycled. With interim storage, an average material moisture level of 20 to 25 percent can be attained.
Bottom ash is created in the environmentally friendly dry furnaces of modern hard coal fired power plants. When the coal is fired, non-combustible mineral residues remain. The greater part of this is fly ash, which is removed from the flue gas by electrostatic precipitators. The heavier residues which fall to the lowest point form the bottom ash.
Ecologically valuable and versatile
A variety of environmentally friendly gypsum construction materials of the highest quality are made with FGD gypsum from EP Power Minerals. As building material, gypsum can be rated favorably from a physiological viewpoint because it has a regulative effect on humidity. In Germany, gypsum is mainly used for interior finishing. Around 75 percent of gypsum output is used for plasterboard, building plasters like facing plaster, or filling compounds. The cement industry also uses gypsum as a curing retardant, and the ceramics industry uses it to make casting molds.
FGD gypsum is gypsum obtained from flue gas desulfurization systems (FGDs). In the flue gas desulfurization system, sulfur is removed from the flue gas, for example with the aid of lime. FGD gypsum is chemically identical to natural gypsum, but usually of greater purity. FGD gypsum from modern power plants can completely replace natural gypsum in almost all applications. The German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) also welcomes the use of FGD gypsum as being ecologically beneficial.
Storage and Transport
Solutions for Power Plant By-products
Efficient logistics chains are the key to success for every project. Our customers always expect to receive their products on time and in the required quality and quantity. Therefore we do everything to ensure their security of supply. With flexible logistics strategies, a wide range of storage facilities and large silo capacities, we have the know-how and assets needed to move our products rapidly and reliably.
On the one hand, this enables us to meet our disposal obligations towards our power plant customers. On the other hand, access to comprehensive silo capacities and transport routes enables us to ensure the best possible security of supply for our building materials customers - even in the months when the power plants tend to produce less fly ash and other power plant by-products.
Compliance with all environmental and safety regulations is just as important to us as reliable deliveries to our customers. That is why we regularly check and optimise our logistics concepts. Our goal is to shorten transport routes, to link routes and, for example, to utilise vehicles in a well thought-out way so that the environment benefits most of all. In the last five years, this has reduced our emissions by 25 percent.
Short transport routes
Optimum capacity utilization
Use sources of partner companies