Remote characterization of impounded ash to identify economic harvesting opportunities

Krish Mehta, Stanford
Manju Murugesu, Stanford

Description

Remote characterization of impounded ash Authors Mr. Krish Mehta - United States - Stanford Dr. Manju Murugesu - United States - Stanford Abstract The gradual shutdown of coal power plants has led to a decrease in ash production, prompting an increased interest in harvesting ash from landfills for use as a Supplementary Cementitious Material (SCM) in concrete. The viability and cost-effectiveness of this hinge on various factors, including the location, scale, and chemical composition of the ash impoundments. Key determinants such as carbon content (Loss on Ignition, LOI), the presence of Flue-Gas Desulfurization (FGD) waste (e.g., gypsum), moisture levels, and calcium content significantly influence the necessary processing steps and associated costs to align with ASTM C618 standards for fly ash. In our research, we aim to remotely characterize ash impoundments to aid marketers in pinpointing the most suitable sites for ash harvesting. Our methodology integrates a blend of advanced techniques: we employ satellite imagery analyzed through computer vision, scrutinize regulatory documents via image-to-text analysis, and apply data science to information extracted from regulatory forms. This multifaceted approach has enabled us to develop a detailed and comprehensive mapping of ash compositions across various sites. We have identified 746 ash impoundment sites in the United States, collectively containing 1.5 billion tons of material. We have characterized 269 of these sites, which account for 80% of the total ash volume. Our findings indicate that 40% of this material is stored in wet conditions in ponds, and 181 sites (67% of total) contain FGD waste comingled with the ash. Significantly, 55% of the ash is found to have less than 20% calcium content, suggesting easier grinding for reprocessing purposes. Our ongoing work is dedicated to further developing our database, particularly focusing on the heterogeneity of landfill sites, with a special emphasis on estimating carbon content. We actively seek insights and feedback from the field to enrich our research and its practical applications.

 
May 14th, 3:30 PM May 14th, 5:00 PM

Remote characterization of impounded ash to identify economic harvesting opportunities

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Remote characterization of impounded ash Authors Mr. Krish Mehta - United States - Stanford Dr. Manju Murugesu - United States - Stanford Abstract The gradual shutdown of coal power plants has led to a decrease in ash production, prompting an increased interest in harvesting ash from landfills for use as a Supplementary Cementitious Material (SCM) in concrete. The viability and cost-effectiveness of this hinge on various factors, including the location, scale, and chemical composition of the ash impoundments. Key determinants such as carbon content (Loss on Ignition, LOI), the presence of Flue-Gas Desulfurization (FGD) waste (e.g., gypsum), moisture levels, and calcium content significantly influence the necessary processing steps and associated costs to align with ASTM C618 standards for fly ash. In our research, we aim to remotely characterize ash impoundments to aid marketers in pinpointing the most suitable sites for ash harvesting. Our methodology integrates a blend of advanced techniques: we employ satellite imagery analyzed through computer vision, scrutinize regulatory documents via image-to-text analysis, and apply data science to information extracted from regulatory forms. This multifaceted approach has enabled us to develop a detailed and comprehensive mapping of ash compositions across various sites. We have identified 746 ash impoundment sites in the United States, collectively containing 1.5 billion tons of material. We have characterized 269 of these sites, which account for 80% of the total ash volume. Our findings indicate that 40% of this material is stored in wet conditions in ponds, and 181 sites (67% of total) contain FGD waste comingled with the ash. Significantly, 55% of the ash is found to have less than 20% calcium content, suggesting easier grinding for reprocessing purposes. Our ongoing work is dedicated to further developing our database, particularly focusing on the heterogeneity of landfill sites, with a special emphasis on estimating carbon content. We actively seek insights and feedback from the field to enrich our research and its practical applications.