About the Fly Ash


Activists and fishermen claim that fly ash from the North Chennai Thermal Power Station has been discovered in the Kosasthalaiyar (NCTPS). This was triggered by a leak in the pipeline that transports ash to the ash pond.

What is Fly Ash, exactly:

Flue ash, also known as pulverised fuel ash, is a coal combustion product.


  • Made up of the particles and flue gases ejected from coal-fired boilers.
  • Arsenic, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, hexavalent chromium, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium, as well as dioxins and PAH compounds, are all present in significant amounts in fly ash, depending on the source and content of the coal being burned. It also has carbon in it that hasn't been burned yet.

Dangers to people's health and the environment:

  • Harmful heavy metals can be found: In nature, nickel, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, lead, and other heavy metals found in fly ash are all poisonous. They are small, poisonous particles that accumulate in the respiratory tract over time and cause poisoning.
  • For the same amount of electricity generated, fly ash contains a hundred times more radiation than nuclear waste kept in a dry cask or in water.

Water pollution: Ash dykes are regularly breached in India, resulting in ash leaks that damage a large number of water bodies.

Mangrove loss, major crop yield reductions, and groundwater pollution in the Rann of Kutch have all been observed as a result of ash sludge from adjacent coal power plants.

On the other hand, fly ash can be used in the following ways:

  • Sand is utilised as a Portland cement replacement in concrete production.
  • Fly-ash pellets can be used in concrete mixtures instead of conventional aggregate.
  • Takes the shape of embankments and other structural features to fill in the gaps.
  • Cement clinker production — (as a substitute material for clay).
  • Stabilization of soft soil
  • The road's subbase is being built.
  • As an alternative to aggregate (e.g. for brick production).
  • Agricultural uses include soil amendment, fertiliser, cow feeders, soil stabilisation in stock feed yards, and agricultural stakes.
  • Apply a loose coat of ice melt to highways and parking lots for ice control.


Preliminary Exam Hot-Link:

  • What is fly ash, exactly?
  • Sources
  • Possibilities for applications

Source : THE HINDU.

Print Friendly and PDF
blog comments powered by Disqus