MIT Says Coal Ash Recycling Key to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Coal fly ash use has been identified by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a key strategy for improving life-cycle costs and reducing emissions associated with concrete structures and paving.

In 2009, MIT established a research group called the Concrete Sustainability Hub. With support from the Portland Cement Association and the Ready Mixed Concrete Research and Education Foundation, the research group has now issued two major reports that provide Life Cycle Analysis of concrete. One report addresses concrete used in structures and the other addresses concrete used in paving.

Both reports specifically identify the value of fly ash in concrete with respect to long term cost and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. For instance, the paving report recommends that highway designers should: “Add more fly ash, a waste product scrubbed from the emissions of coal-fired power plants, to the concrete mix. This material is already widely used, but increasing its use could displace more cement powder, which is a highly energy-intensive material to produce.”

A summary of the paving report can be found here. Complete copies of both reports can be obtained from the Concrete Sustainability Hub website.

Posted by: on: Sep 21, 2011 @ 10:26