Fly ash, a Source of Fireproof Concrete?

(Aggregate Research 5-27-09) Research by William Rickard and colleagues at the Curtin University of Technology (CUT), Perth, has shown that fly ash-based geopolymers exhibit remarkable fire resistance while maintaining superior mechanical strength. The team has made geopolymers, a cement-like material formed by dissolving materials that contain silicon and aluminium, such as fly ash, in a highly alkaline solution for use in high temperature applications such as fireproofing and building insulation.

PennDOT's 'Green' Fly Ash Efforts

 (Aggregate Research 5-26-09)  PennDOT Assistant Construction Manager Michael McCart, it's a way to make roads, sidewalks and bridges stronger and longer-lasting, thanks to growing attempts to reuse it and other industrial wastes in making concrete. Concrete used for roads and buildings is a combination of stone, sand and binding agents -- usually a mix of lime and silica called portland cement -- that create chemical reactions and bind together when mixed with water.

EPA Completes First Testing of Chinese Drywall

(Harold Tribune 5-19-09) Federal officials have completed preliminary testing into tainted Chinese drywall linked to corrosion and potential health effects in Florida and other states. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working in conjunction with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry – part of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta – has completed initial testing of two samples of tainted Chinese drywall, along with four domestic samples used for comparison.

Tennessee: E.P.A. to Oversee Coal Ash Cleanup

(New York Times 5-11-09) The Environmental Protection Agency will oversee the cleanup of a huge coal ash spill that brought national attention to the environmental risks of storing the power plant byproduct. The agency’s new administrator, Lisa Jackson, said the E.P.A. was taking charge and “bringing to bear its resources and expertise” under the federal Superfund law.

Experts Weigh Threat from Coal Ash

(Louisville Courier Journal 5-6-09) A senior U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official told utility industry officials and academic researchers yesterday that national regulations on handling ash from coal-fired power plants are coming -- and they may include classifying the material as hazardous waste. Industry officials have argued against a hazardous waste classification, saying it would greatly increase the costs of disposal to companies and customers and place a stigma on growing efforts to find commercial uses for ash, such as in concrete.

EPA Representative: Coal Ash Could be Regulated

(Associated Press 5-6-09) An Environmental Protection Agency representative is telling energy industry officials to expect regulations on how to handle ash from coal-fired power plants. That could include classifying coal ash as hazardous waste, the EPA official said. Matt Hale, director of the EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, spoke Tuesday at the World of Coal Ash conference in Lexington.

Building Green In Pursuit Of Platinum

(Associated Construction Publications 4-13-09) An Iowa college and an Iowa construction company, each founded more than 150 years ago on what was then still the frontier, are modern-day pioneers of sustainable building. Now pushing their experience and expertise to an even higher level, the partnership is pursuing a green trifecta, aiming to earn the state's first Platinum rating for Central's new $17-million Education and Psychology Building to be completed this summer.

TVA Buys 70 Properties Affected by Coal Ash Spill

(Associated Press 4-10-09) The Tennessee Valley Authority has spent more than $20 million buying up 71 properties tainted by a major coal ash spill in Tennessee and is negotiating to buy more. But the nation's largest public utility also has turned down 160 others hoping to sell out. "We are trying to balance between doing the right thing by the people that were impacted by this (and) keeping in mind that this is ratepayer money," TVA senior vice president Peyton Hairston told The Associated Press on Friday.

Concrete, with a Dash of Green

(Deccan Herald 4-10-09) Soaring above the Mississippi River just east of downtown Minneapolis is one remarkable concrete job. There on Interstate 35W, the St Anthony Falls Bridge carries ten lanes of traffic on box girders borne by massive arching piers, which are supported, in turn, by footings and deep pilings. The bridge is constructed almost entirely of concrete embedded with steel reinforcing bars, or rebar.

Fly Ash Can be Used Safely

(Chief Engineer – 2009) Researchers at the University of North Dakota, who have been studying coal ash for decades, hope a billion-gallon sludge spill in Tennessee won’t set back efforts to promote the ash as an environmentally friendly product. UND’s Energy and Environmental Research Center says coal ash has been safely used in products ranging from concrete and carpet to bowling balls.