Presently, about 90 million tonnes of fly ash are generated annually by India’s coal-fired electric power generation stations, with about 12 million tonnes (13 percent) being utilized. About 40 percent of the coal produced in India (>85 million tonnes per year) is used for power generation by the National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (NTPC). NTPC is planning to add 10,000 MW to the existing capacity of over 20,000 MW. Accordingly, a number of parties—the Government of India, NTPC, various state electricity boards, and the citizenry at large, to name a few—are interested in finding a broad range of acceptable applications for utilization of fly ash. In fact, the Ministry of Environment and Fuels Gazette Notification dated September 14, 1999, mandates that existing coal-fired power stations must achieve 20 percent ash utilization in three years, and 100 percent utilization in 15 years from the date of notification.
A number of fly ash utilization options are already being addressed in India. In 2001-2002, a total of 3.8 million tonnes of fly ash was utilized for raising the height of ash dikes, land development, and in the cement and asbestos industries. Large quantities of ash from the Badarpur ash pond are being used in prestigious projects in and around Delhi, such as the Delhi Metro Rail, the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, and the Delhi Flyovers. Over 115 million ash bricks have been manufactured in 13 NTPC coal stations so far, and utilized in various in-house construction activities. NTPC is also investigating the feasibility of ash haulback to mines as an alternative to ash pond disposal, to minimize land requirements and to improve ecobalance. There have also been a number of demonstrations across India of fly ash utilization as a soil enhancer in both agricultural and forestation settings.
Coupled with this focus on large scale fly ash utilization is the fact that India’s annual fisheries production appears poised for dramatic decline, much as is predicted for the entire global fisheries industry. Also, the Indian coastline suffers in many areas from erosion, effecting commercial and recreational industry activities in these areas. The feasibility of large-scale utilization of fly ash for the development of artificial reef habitats and for coastal shoreline erosion control merits investigation.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) proposes to develop a broad-based alliance of Indian and U.S. entities that is focused on utilizing significant amounts of Indian fly ash for:
NETL proposes a phased approach to the development of the alliance, with up to three demonstrations to showcase differing ash utilization applications. These demonstrations will address the following sectors of interest to the USAID’s Global Development Alliance: Agriculture; Economic Growth and Trade Capacity Building; and Environment/Energy.
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Todd R. Barber
Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation
Reef Ball Foundation Inc. 603 River Overlook Rd. Woodstock, GA 30188 Phone: 770-752-0202 Fax: 770-360-1328 email@example.com