TEST FRAMEWORK DEVELOPMENT FOR USE OF COAL COMBUSTION PRODUCTS (CCPS) IN EMBANKMENT CONSTRUCTION AND MINE LAND RECLAMATION

Open Access
Author:
Plaks, Nicholas
Graduate Program:
Civil Engineering
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Angelica Palomino, Thesis Advisor/Co-Advisor
Keywords:
  • unconfined compression test
  • FGD material
  • FBC ash
  • bottom ash
  • fly ash
  • CCPs
  • Coal combustion products
  • hydraulic conductivity
  • XRD
  • effluent analysis
Abstract:
Coal combustion products (CCPs) are by-products created when coal is burned for energy production. In 2007 alone, the United States produced in excess of 125 million tons of CCPs. Despite the fact that approximately 40% of the CCPs were used beneficially, 60% of the CCPs were disposed of via land filling. Reusing CCPs in large volume, civil engineering applications could greatly reduce and potentially outperform the natural materials currently required for these structures, which in many cases is more economical. Recycling CCPs also reduces the carbon footprint associated with mining naturally occurring material. However, CCPs are often perceived as strictly a waste product due to their chemical composition and potentially hazardous leachate even though not all CCPs should be considered environmentally unsound. In fact, their chemical composition can vary widely depending on the source power plant location, the power plant type, and the fuel source. Therefore it is necessary that CCPs be characterized both mechanically and chemically to qualify their utilization in civil engineering structures. The missing component in the current state of practice is a consistent methodology for categorizing CCPs as either environmentally and structurally sound or harmful when used as a construction material, and this methodology should be application-based. This paper describes the development of a detailed testing framework in order to qualify the use of CCPs in large-volume civil engineering applications, in particular embankments and mine land reclamation. The testing framework is then implemented for three types of CCPs with an analysis of results.