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'Ash to assets' Quality Protocol launches

Efforts to increase the use of waste power generation ash are behind the Quality Protocol consultation launched today.

By turning ash to assets and removing the waste tag the protocol aims to encourage the construction industry to substitute virgin materials for the waste ash material. For example, as a binder in road construction.

The protocol will promote best practice for suppliers and offer potential users a defined quality standard. It was produced under the Waste Protocols Project, which is a joint initiative from the Environment Agency (EA) and the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

WRAP director of market development Marcus Gover said: By establishing a consistent quality guarantee for pulverised fuel ash (PFA) and furnace bottom ash (FBA), this protocol will build confidence among end users. It will help recovered materials reach well-established markets, such as construction materials and grouting, while stimulating growth in less-developed markets.

The protocol could also raise standards as it highlights good practice in the use of PFA and FBA.

PFA and FBA are ashes produced from the burning of coal to generate electricity in power station boilers. Each year, about seven million tonnes of these ashes are produced in the UK.

While some is used in well-established markets, such as for the manufacture of concrete and construction products including cement, general fill and grouting materials, about three million tonnes goes to landfill. 

Imaage: Coal power stations like Drax in Yorkshire produce waste ash as product of energy generation


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