Over the last decade, Ohio has become a leader in the development of new technologies for the beneficial use of clean coal combustion products (CCPs). The program is co-funded by a strong coalition of CCP stakeholders including the Ohio Coal Development Office, The Ohio State University, Ohio coal-fired utilities, ash marketers, private businesses, trade and farming organizations.
Through a considerable amount of research, along with extensive development and field demonstration work, significant progress has been made toward creating various new uses of CCPs. Re-use of CCPs is frequently desirable as it provides a low-cost raw material (often displacing a more expensive, virgin material); extends the life of expensive landfills and lessens the need for new ones, thereby enhancing the environment; and helps keep energy production costs in check. Some of these products are currently used as grit for ice and snow control, as an additive in some concretes, as a major component in "flash-fill," in reflective paints, and several other uses. However, the bulk of these materials were unproductively and expensively disposed.
It was felt that a concerted effort was needed to move the utilization technologies from the research and demonstration phase into the marketplace. The current knowledge gaps between CCP producers, brokers, regulators and users was bridged through the establishment of an extension program at The Ohio State University, where a considerable amount of data and expertise has developed. This extension program primarily focuses on the beneficial uses of CCPs from sulfur dioxide scrubbing processes. However, other more traditional CCPs, e.g., fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, fluidized-bed combustor ash etc., are also included as opportunities present themselves.
Bringing CCP use technology to the marketplace has both direct benefits and indirect and societal benefits. The direct benefits are most easily quantified and are generally what drive the adoption of a new product or technology. Direct economic benefits include those realized by both the producer of the CCPs and the end user. The producer benefits if the cost associated with support of beneficial uses is lower than that of landfilling or other disposal means. The end user benefits if the CCP application results in lower cost than would the conventional application.