Recognising the potential end use benefits associated with the reuse of coal combustion products (CCPs); Australian producers and marketers of coal ash formed the Ash Development Association of Australia (ADAA) in 1990. The primary objective of the Association being to conduct industry relevant research and technology transfer to develop market opportunities in the use of CCPs for members, stakeholders and the wider community.
The combustion of pulverised coal in the furnace of a power station boiler results in the production of a number of solid by-products, more accurately classified as CCPs. This terminology reflects a more positive view and is in keeping with the concept of industrial ecology, being an approach that seeks to use one industries by-product as another industries raw material inputs.
The beneficial use of CCPs from coal consumption use for energy is an important strategic plank for the sustainable use of coal, within an increasingly resource (finite) and emission (carbon) constrained society. While the principal product from coal combustion is energy, significant quantities of by-products in the form of CCPs are also produced. In life cycle terms the opportunities to exploit the low energy embodied in CCPs such as -- fly ash, furnace bottom ash, boiler slags and cenospheres are extensive.
CCPs, being highly processed material from the actions of milling and thermal processing, can if efficiently used, displace other traditional energy-intensive raw materials (product replacement). Resulting in conservation of finite mineral resources, the reduction or displacement of greenhouse emissions, through the recovery and use of these mineral resources.
Reduction in greenhouse gas terms is tangible and therefore within an increasing carbon constrained society is a worthy motivation for developing innovative methods for recovery and use. Based on current national government policy, it would seem inevitable that a carbon pricing mechanism will emerge, and that it will include a suite of offset options that recognise greenhouse gas reductions achieved. This has and will bring further incentive to the productive recovery and future use of CCPs.
Australian producers and marketers of power station ash formed the ADAA with the objective of investigating and developing market opportunities for the use of these materials in various industry applications. The Association has and continues to deliver on this objective by striving to increase the generators, processors, regulators and end users awareness of the sustainable ecological benefits arising from the increased utilisation of these industry by-products for relevant industries, the community, and ultimately the environment.
Strategically, this has involved the execution of three primary objectives: