CESC gets patent for innovating bottom ash use

Kolkata, Nov 19: CESC LTD, the flagship power utility of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka group, has received a patent from the central government organisation Intellectual Property India for innovating technology in the use of bottom ash from coal-based thermal power plants, a company official said on Saturday.
The present modes of disposal of bottom ash remain restricted to low landfill and the construction of embankments for roads. Vast stretches of land are locked up for storage or disposal.
“The ash generated from a coal-based thermal power plant are of two types: fly ash (which constitutes about 85 percent of total ash generated) and bottom ash (constituting 15 percent of total ash generated). Most of the fly ash is currently utilised in cement production, whereas bottom ash is yet to find a useful utilisation area.
“We researched in finding a sustainable solution and had partnered with Jadavpur University, Kolkata and SDG Consultants. Through extensive research, laboratory tests and field trials, we havd successfully established that the bottom ash, having physical and chemical properties similar to river sand can replace about 25 to 70 percent of sand in the production of concrete,” said the company’s Executive Director (Generation) Sudipta Kumar Mukherjee.
According to the official, the findings are the outcome of tests done at renowned national laboratories of Jadavpur University, Central Glass Ceramic Research Institute-Kolkata and Geological Survey of India-Kolkata.
The laboratory findings were followed up with construction of trial stretches of a heavy vehicular traffic road inside the company’s own 750MW Budge Budge Generating Station at Pujali, West Bengal.
The power utility has already approached various state PWDs, the Ministry of Power, the National Highway Authority of India and leading construction houses for support and adoption of the novel technology.
The company’s Managing Director-Generation Rabi Chowdhury said the innovation provides immense opportunity for the power sector and construction industry in terms of environment protection, cyclic reuse of bottom ash and protecting the national river ecology.
Jadavpur University Professor Partha Ghosh said the research, leading to a Government Of India patent, has clearly identified some differentiating characteristics of bottom ash, making it a useful substitute of sand in concrete production.
“Use of bottom ash against existing alternatives to natural sand viz crushed sand, manufactured sand, mine-overburden will enable Indian thermal power plants to reduce carbon footprint,” said Ghosh.
Apart from providing a realistic avenue for mass-scale utilisation of thermal power plant ash, the technology will support environmental protection and reduce sand mining from river beds, said Chowdhury. (UNI)