‘Fly ash ideal for making cement, concrete, bricks and tiles’ | Varanasi News

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Varanasi: The sustainable use of fly ash, a by-product of coal-fired power generation, is one of the main areas of concern for NTPC’s Singrauli unit in Sonbhadra district. The unit guarantees durable solutions for full use.
The fly ash generated at the NTPC is ideal for the manufacture of cement, concrete, concrete products, bricks and tiles, said General Manager (Ash Handling) K Gopala Krishna. According to him, in order to promote the use of fly ash bricks in building construction, NTPC Singrauli has set up five fly ash brick factories. In addition, NTPC Singrauli is also providing 9.75 lakh metric tons (LMT) of pond ash to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) NH-7 (Rewa-Varanasi) highway project free of charge. It will also provide two lakh cubic meters (LCM) pond ash free of charge to the NHAI Road Project – Varanasi Bypass”.
Fly ash is supplied free of charge to brick makers at various locations within a radius of 100 km. The vast network of Indian Railways is leveraged to transport fly ash in an economical and environmentally friendly manner. These initiatives are in line to achieve 100% use of fly ash at the power station and thus effectively adapting environmentally friendly power generation methods for sustainable growth, Krishna said.
According to the records, India produces about 226 million tons of fly ash per year, of which about 188 million is used. As a result, almost 40 million tonnes of fly ash are stored in ash dams or simply dumped in the open without proper guidelines, posing a threat to the environment. The use of fly ash has attained considerable importance as its production has steadily increased with the increase in energy demand.
Although for environmental progress, renewable energy is gaining importance, coal-based generation still forms the backbone of grid stability in the Indian context and ash is an integral part of coal. The fly ash produced by thermal power plants is excellent and contains little unburnt carbon and has high pozzolanic activity as per current Indian standards. “Since it is ideal for making cement, concrete, concrete products, aerated concrete products, bricks, blocks and tiles, instead of using fertile topsoil, we have to push the use of ash in all these products,” Krishna said.
Thermal power stations across India generate large amounts of fly ash, with coal produced in India generating up to 30-45% ash when heated in boilers. Fly ash is currently used in the manufacture of Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC) (25%), fly ash bricks (10%) and low area reclamation (15%). Fly ash is also used for road construction (10%) and construction of ash dams (10%).
“Ash is not a hazard to the environment but one of Mother Earth’s few saviors. It is high time to consider ash a by-product of the power plant instead of a waste product to be eliminated,” he said, adding that the use of ash products should be made mandatory for the PWD, NHAI and cement industries. These sectors should also bear transportation costs. Thermal power plants should make it easier to raise the ash from their power plants.This will not only increase the use of ash, but also save electricity consumers from having to shell out money for these additional costs.
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