Chapter 10: Fly Ash in Zeolite Production


Alexander Elliot, Curtain University of Technology,Perth, Western Australia
Dong-ke Zhang, Curtain University of Technology,Perth, Western Australia


The uses of fly ash that have large existing or potential markets have been addressed in other chapters in this handbook. A significant barrier to the increased commercial use of fly ash is the transport cost in relation to the price of the product being transported; this has been discussed in other chapters of this handbook. A more value-added high technology option for the utilisation of fly ash, however, could be an effective means to overcome such a barrier. This chapter will look at a specialised product, zeolite synthesised from fly ash, which has a number of potential niche applications, some of which would command a high price for the manufactured products. The chapter is based largely on work carried out under CCSD Project 6.2, ‘Utilisation of solid wastes and by-products’, together with a paper published by Elliot and Zhang (2005) and the PhD thesis of Alexander Elliot (Elliot 2006).

Section 10.1 of this chapter addresses the nature of zeolites and the properties that make them useful in a range of specialised applications. Zeolites occur naturally, but they may also be manufactured to yield a designed product with enhanced properties. The production processes for synthetic zeolites, especially zeolites with desired properties, are described in Section 10.2.


  1. 10.1 Overview and Technology Status
    1. 10.1.1 The nature of zeolites
    2. 10.1.2 Natural and synthetic zeolites
    3. 10.1.3 Zeolite applications
  2. 10.2 Production of Synthetic Zeolites
    1. 10.2.1 Commercial processes for zeolite production
    2. 10.2.2 Producing zeolites from coal ash
    3. 10.2.3 Production conditions
    4. 10.2.4 Australian research on zeolite production
    5. 10.2.5 Pilot and demonstration plants
  3. 10.3 Properties of Zeolites
    1. 10.3.1 Adsorption of gases and water
    2. 10.3.2 Catalysis
    3. 10.3.3 Ion exchange
  4. 10.4 Applications of Zeolites
    1. 10.4.1 Conventional uses
    2. 10.4.2 A value-added production from fly ash
    3. 10.4.3 Potential use in controlled-release fertilisers
    4. 10.4.4 Market for controlled-release fertilisers in Australia
    5. 10.4.5 Economics of controlled-release fertiliser production from fly ash
  5. 10.5 Concluding Summary
  6. 10.6 References

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