Coal Ash Matters - November 2016

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Member Employee Profile: Trent Alexander ADAA Factbook (E-Book)


A Few Words with Latrobe Magnesium CEO; David Paterson


Membership Survey Results


Another WO3nderful Use For Fly Ash


Local Fly Ash competes against Mined Frac Sand for Market Share


Coal Ash or Cold Cash?


Australia’s Green Star System for Sustainability


Coal Ash in Soils – a partner with the construction industry: Jane Aiken

10 Jamie North - Succession 2016 11 Foxground and Berry Bypass Updates 12 Are we Wasting our finite Resources? Conferences 13 - Concrete 2017 - CMIC16

CCPs - a valuable resource

Editorial What a year It has been for the Association and the industry overall. Once again, the Ash Development Association of Australia has worked hard throughout 2016 to uphold an Industry Association that is fit for members to rely and depend on. Although the industry has faced multiple challenges this year, the ADAA continues to focus on advocacy, research and communication. With Christmas only one month away the ADAA Team would like to wish all members and readers a safe and happy holiday period. The Member Profile for this edition is Trent Alexander from Brickworks Ltd. Trent was kind enough to provide us with information regarding his work, personal achievements in the industry and his opinions on the importance of CCP’s. Following Trent’s profile are the results from the 2015 Membership Survey. The Association annually gathers membership data for the benefit of the industry and members alike and this year was no different. The results are shown and explained exclusively for you in this addition of Coal Ash Matters. Being ‘a valuable resource’, another useful application for fly ash (FA) has emerged through research in North America. The research highlights how FA particles can be used to separate oil from water. More positive FA news is shared as we discuss the results that oil and gas technology company, LWP Technologies Ltd reported regarding their FA work being tested at their Brisbane-based pilot plant. Jane Aiken (Lend Lease) also provides us with her personal insight into why FA is as important as coal. She also answers difficult industry questions such as why there is a limited supply of FA. A year on from our last update, the Foxground and Berry Bypass construction has progressed immensly. Some 11.6km of iron and steel slag constructed road surface is being completed, delivering a durable, high skid resistant, longer lifespan surface. Succession 2016 is just one of many incredible FA sculptures created by Jamie North, and he has joined us exclusively in this edition to chat about why he created Succession. North discusses what materials were used and how the project all came together with the help of FA. Finally, we speak to Jorge Chapa from the Green Building Council of Australia. Chapa discusses the how FA utilisation has been included into the Green Star Sustainability Rating System. The System measures the environmental impact of buildings, fit-outs and communities.

Phone: 02 4228 1389 Fax: 02 4258 0169 Email:

Website: Twitter: @adaa_info

Views expressed in Coal Ash Matters newsletter do not


necessarily reflect the opinion of the Ash Development

Chief Executive Officer: Craig Heidrich

Editor: Bre McMahon

Association of Australia. All contributions are welcomed,

Editorial Coordinator: Aiden Chilcott

Design: 101 Design

though the publisher reserves the right to decline or edit

Contributors: Craig Heidrich, Carol Wilson, Trent Alexander,

for style grammar, length and legal reasons. ©2005-16.

David Paterson, Jane Aiken, Jamie North, Ali Abbas.

Coal Ash Matters is a bi-annual publication

Circulation: 2000 ADAA | NOVEMBER 2016




COMPANY MEMBERS A primary role of the ADAA is to bring together producers and marketers of coal combustion products (CCPs). Our activities cover research and development into CCP usage, advocacy and technical assistance to CCP producers and users, as well as a forum for the exchange and publication of CCP information.

Trent Alexander has been a valued committee member of ADAA for over a year now and has previously been involved with the Association through technical, educational and management meetings. Now Trent is providing industry readers with insights about his career at Brickworks Ltd in this edition’s Member Profile.

For more information Association, visit us at



CURRENT MEMBERS • BG&E Materials Technology • Boral Quarries & Recycling • Brickworks Ltd • CS Energy • Delta Electricity • Golden Bay Cement (New Zealand) • Heeleys Consulting • Hyrock (NSW) • Intergen (Millmerran) • Latrobe Magnesium • NRG Gladstone Power Station • Origin Energy Eraring Power Station • Stanwell Corporation • Synergy • Vecor Australia

RECIPROCAL MEMBERSHIPS • CSIRO • Association of Canadian Industries Recycling Coal Ash (CIRCA) • European Coal Combustion Products Association (ECOBA) • UK Quality Ash Association • American Coal Ash Association • World Wide Coal Combustion Products Network (WWCCPN)

TRENT ALEXANDER What was your profession before you were employed at Brickworks? I’m a concrete technologist by background. In my career I’ve worked in various management roles in Construction Materials, Mining and Quarrying. Immediately prior to working for Brickworks I was managing an explosives business servicing NSW & QLD.

How did you come to work at brickworks? As the mining and quarry industry began to slow in Queensland in 2014 an opportunity presented itself to work for Brickworks as a National Operations Manager specifically in the Masonry division. I was excited at the prospect of working in another concrete related manufacturing business so I accepted the opportunity.

What are your roles and responsibilities at Brickworks? My primary responsibility is to manage national operations and quarry resources for the Masonry division. I also oversee a number of other strategic ventures that Brickworks is starting, including the Lightweight Aggregate Plant in Sydney and the Wet Cast Plant in Queensland.

What is the importance of CCP’s to you and the industry? The utilization of products such as FAand bottom ash is very important for the environment and businesses. Reducing landfill of waste ash allows coal power to be more sustainable. Also, the use of FA in various concrete products significantly enhances the durability of these structures which will serve for generations to come.

What are the most significant achievements you’ve made while in the industry? Whilst a young Business Development Manager in a Queensland premixed concrete company I increased the utilization and acceptance of FA and other Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM’s) in their products significantly. The challenge had three objectives: • Decrease concrete product mix cost to sustain business. • Increase use of SCM’s • Manage change and perception of SCM’s in concrete by staff and customers. The end of the project perpetually saved a significant amount of money for the company and cut their cement usage by over 30%. Customers also realised that concrete mixed with SCM’s such as FA did in fact make higher performing concrete elements.

How did you develop your technical knowledge? I have a background in Engineering and years working in construction materials laboratories. However, the most significant knowledge has been from the exceptional mentors I’ve had along the way. Industry names like Kevin Cheney and the late David Cusack certainly shaped my technical concrete viewpoint. Not to mention authors such as Ken Day and the late Dr. Alan Carse.

What do you hope to bring to the ADAA Management Committee? I hope to bring a diverse background in building products that utilize or could utilize FA. I’ve worked in Technical and Operational functions through Premixed concrete, Precast concrete, Roof tiles and Masonry. Conversely, I also believe I will get a lot out of the experience of others associated with the ADAA. I have a passion for utilizing co/by products. One man’s trash literally is another man’s treasure.

What is the next big step for Brickworks Ltd? Brickworks obviously started out as a brick manufacturer and are now the largest clay brick manufacturer in Australia. Going forward we will continue to assess opportunities for vertical integration especially in materials that enhance the visual and durability characteristics of our products.




Factbook (e-Book)

Don’t have time to read our 500+ page Coal Combustion Products Handbook? Why not check out the Coal Combustion Products Factbook. This FactBook’s primary objective is to communicate complex ideas about CCPs to a broader and less technical audience using an e-Book platform available on Apple iBooks, Google Play Store and Amazon’s Kindle to suit your every technological whim. The e-Book format offers greater readability and accessibility with increased ease of use. Appealing not only to CCP experts, but to anyone who wants to understand the ‘facts’ about CCPs. Using a ‘story board’ format the 35 page summary is informative, comprehensive covering a variety of topics including: • • • • •

Coal formation Coal combustion product summaries The collection of coal combustion products The use of coal combustion products Market and industry information.

About the FactBook concept developer: Dr Geoff Bongers is a Technology Consultant with Gamma Energy Technology, holding extensive experience within the global mining, aluminum and energy companies. Dr Bongers has aided us with the compilation of this FactBook, using his well-honed ability to take complex ideas and concepts and distill them down for general consumption. We call him the Dr Karl of the energy sector! From $4.00, the ADAA FactBook can provide you with an informative reference guide for CCP’s in the palm of your hands.

A few words with LATROBE MAGNESIUM CEO; DAVID PATERSON “Latrobe Magnesium has been a large part of my life and I want to see it develop into one of the most successful magnesium producers in the world for the benefit of all our stakeholders that have supported and backed the project over the last 10 years or so.” – David Paterson What is the most rewarding aspect of being the CEO of Latrobe Magnesium? Every day presents new challenges as we continue to develop and improve our hydromet process. We have a great team with a wealth of experience who are constantly looking to optimize and prove better ways to improve process and develop new products. I must admit though I will be very happy to see the successful development of the initial 5,000 tpa plant which represents the culmination of some 16 years work. Can you tell me about how you became involved with Latrobe Magnesium and the specific details of your role as CEO? My founding partner, Kevin Torpey, and I were approached by Hazelwood Power to tender for the project in 2000. They picked us because of Kevin’s experience in the magnesite business and my relationship with the German companies, who at the time, were leading the charge in the magnesium market. My role as CEO is to have the overall management responsibility of developing the Latrobe Magnesium Project in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria and developing additional project using our technology overseas. I have direct responsibility for the marketing of the products that we produce which are principally magnesium and our supplementary cementitious material. Additionally, I negotiate all our contracts with suppliers, all funding raising and accounting functions.

What are your opinions on the importance of FA at Latrobe Magnesium? Whilst our material is usually compared to black coal fly ash it is very different. Our SCM is made from brown coal fly ash but it really is a processed material. Our SCM has the same chemistry and mineralogy as Portland cement whereas black coal fly ash principal elements are aluminium and silicon oxides. Our SCM is very important to us as it ensures that we can be cost competitive with China. Our SCM is not made in the normal magnesium production process. After sending large samples to China and receiving successful cement test results in early 2015, what has been Latrobe Magnesium’s progress since? Since the pilot test work, we have developed our hydromet process further, signed MoU with Japan and USA distributors, completed additional SCM test work and progressed most of the way through a feasibility study. We have secured 45% of our capital funding from the Federal Government and are in discussion with the Victorian Government, equity underwriters and debt providers to secure the balance of funding required. We have secured an 11 hectare site in the Latrobe Valley with 14,000m2 of buildings which we are now looking to install our initial 5,000tpa plant into with work commencing in the first quarter of 2017. We will be in production some 12 month later. The ADAA will keep readers updated in the future in regards Latrobe Magnesium and any progress made between publications. To find out more about Latrobe Magnesium click here:



MEMBERSHIP SURVEY RESULTS Annual members and non-members were surveyed for CCPs generated, stored and sold during the reported period, which provides results for the calendar year; January to December 2015. Information provided by members and non-members was collated, compared with other data sources for verification purposes and then aggregated into national data set. The beneficial use of coal combustion products (CCPs) during 2015 resulted in 4.8 million tonnes or 40% being effectively utilised and this is due to partly a function of the continued demand within the supply chains for cement and concrete. This demand for fine and coarse aggregate use in structural/civil applications continues to be closely tied to consumption or growth in future development of infrastructure in both urban and regional Australia – estimated to be in excess of 160 million tonnes annually.

Key Results Approximately 12.1Mt (megaton) of CCPs were produced within Australasia. On a per capita basis, this equates to about 500 kg/person. Some 4.8 Mt or 40% of CCPs produced have been effectively utilised in various value-added products or to some beneficial end over the period. On a per capita basis, this equates to about 202 kg/person recycled or reused. Approximately 1.6 Mt or 69% of effectively utilised coal ash was used in high value-added applications such as cementitious binders, concrete manufacture or mineral fillers. About 0.50 Mt or 21% of effectively utilised coal ash was used in non-cementitious applications such as flowable fills, structural fills, road bases, coarse/fine aggregates and mine site remediation. Some 2.3 Mt or 19% was used in projects offering some beneficial use (e.g. onsite remediation, local haul roads etc.). These uses typically generate no economic return, that is, cost avoidance or recovery only. Surplus CCPs of 9.6 Mt are typically placed into onsite storage ponds awaiting some future opportunity for economic reuse. More than 45 Mt of CCPs [fly ash] have been used in cementitious applications or concrete manufacture from 1975 to 2015 [39 years].

The survey results include all generators, marketers and users for the total production and resulting sales by each end use. In summary, the recovery and reuse of CCPs provides positive and significant environmental impacts, including resource conservation and in this case, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the processing of virgin resources, resulting in the reduction of greenhouse gases. The survey results can be seen below.

2015 Membership Survey - CCP Production & Use Survey A. Fuel or Coal Used A1: Bituminous (Black Coal) A2: Sub-bituminous A3: Lignite (Brown Coal) Total Coal Burned (Auto-calc) B. CCPs Beneficial Use Calculations (Tonnes) B1. Total Produced (Jan-Dec)

Tonnes Consumed

Avg % Ash Content








12.74% Furnace Bottom Ash

Fly Ash

Ash (Auto-Calc)

Ash (Manual-Calc)

10,594,912 2,634,395 1,071,413 14,300,720 Cenospheres

Combined 2015

Combined 2014

Combined 2013

Combined 2012

Combined 2011

Combined 2010

Combined 2009

Combined 2008












B2. Total not used [Stored]












Total Production Used (Auto-Calc)












B3. Amounts removed or dirverted from storage




2,322,908 19%

2,187,408 18%






Total of All Used (Auto-Calc)*




4,799,938 40%

C. CCP Use (Tonnes) C1. Cement/Concrete Products /Grout

Fly Ash 1,425,010


6,353,259 52%

Combined (Auto-Calc)

5,385,143 42%

Combined (Auto-Calc)

6,627,579 48%

Combined (Auto-Calc)

5,812,516 41%

Combined (Auto-Calc)


4,702,504 34%

Combined (Auto-Calc)

4,584,096 31%

Combined (Auto-Calc)




































C1. Mineral Fillers

C2. Flowable Fill CLSM C2. Structural Fills/Embankments


Combined (Auto-Calc)

5,933,701 48%

Combined (Auto-Calc)


C1. Cement/ Raw Feed for Clinker

Category 1

Furnace Bottom Ash

1,602,999 69%

1,818,590 67%

1,682,317 66%

1,903,613 79%





2,126,616 73%

1,889,991 77%




1,571,495 71%

1,787,379 79%


215,000 227,821






















C2. Soil Modification/Stabilization












C2. Mineral Filler in Asphalt












C2. Agriculture











C2. Road Base/Sub-base

C2. Aggregate











484,835 21%

646,943 24%

578,687 23%

403,008 17%

C3. Mining Applications (e.g. Backfill)









C3. Waste Stabilization/Solidification















Category 2

C3. Miscellaneous/Other Category 3 Total Use (C1, C2, C3)*(Auto-calc)






7. Total of All Sold (Auto-Calc)*


568,901 Furnace Bottom Ash 568,901

6. Total of All Benefically Used (Auto-Calc)*



D. Summary Results

Fly Ash


239,515 10% 2,327,349

Combined (Auto-Calc)

261,115 10%

274,979 11%





592,729 20%



485,059 20%


531,791 24%

480,030 21%
















0 9,266 0.4%


2,726,648 Combined (Auto-Calc)

2,535,983 Combined (Auto-Calc)

2,424,121 Combined (Auto-Calc)

2,902,033 Combined (Auto-Calc)

2,465,996 Combined (Auto-Calc)

2,217,229 Combined (Auto-Calc)

2,276,675 Combined (Auto-Calc)





















ANOTHER WO3NDERFUL USE FOR FLY ASH One method of transforming fly ash (FA) into ‘a valuable resource’ is through the addition of WO3. WO3 is a chemical compound containing oxygen and the transition metal, tungsten (W). By adding WO3 to FA, the individual particles transform into highly porous grains and one ecologically sustainable use of this is the successful separation of oil from water. When a 1:5 ratio of WO3 to FA is mixed, benefits include: • Lower Processing temperatures, around 100C lower than that of normal FA processing. • As a result of the open porosity FA particles represent an exceedingly absorbent structure. • The mechanical strength of individual fly ash particles (compressive strength) was improved as a result of the WO3 additive.

Case Study

Oil spills are a huge concern in the environment, and as tonnes of oil are spilt into the sea, millions of tonnes of fly ash are disposed in landfills at the same time. In 2010, Dr. Sudipta Seal and Prof. Larry Hench received a Rapid Response Grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) division of materials research, after developing the WO3 process that allows fly ash to absorb spilt oil. Dr. Seal found that materials that held a high “surface-to-volume’ ratio were able to absorb large quantities of oil that was spilt out at sea, however creating and mass-producing such a material was predicted to be very expensive. The chemically treated fly ash has gained the name OOPS (Oil Optimized Particle Surfaces) and once it has absorbed oil from an oil-water mix, it floats on the surface of the water as a sticky substance that can be easily collected and transported. OOPS repels water and not only soaks up the oil, but can also be re-used as fuel to generate heat and energy, once saturated. The discovery is claimed to be a huge step (forward) in significantly lowering the cost of oil spill clean-ups and in turn, assists in returning the environment back to a more normal state, after an event such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. Read more:



LOCAL FLY ASH COMPETES AGAINST MINED FRAC SAND FOR MARKET SHARE Oil and Gas technology company, LWP Technologies Ltd, has recently reported pleasing results from the continuous fly ash test work being done at their Brisbane-based pilot plant.

The Research and Development team within LWP has been testing Queensland-sourced FA at the pilot plant and the results from their work have been very positive and supportive of the path to commercialising cost effective FA based proppants for use in oil and gas hydraulic fracturing. Proppants are a sand-like commodity that are essentail to the multi-billion dollar hydraulic fracturing industry. Hydraulic fracturing involves drilling into the surface of tight-rock formations, before gradually turning horizontal and drilling further. This creates microcracks that can often close shortly after being created. To counteract this, proppants are used to “prop” open these fractures, therefore allowing access to vast oil and natural gas reserves, that were previously locked away. Competing in the ceramic proppants market is LWP’s primary focus and now, this ability to deliver a superior product to the market has given the Brisbane based company a head start, along with many opportunities, such as price competition against imported mined frac sand. Frac sand is a high purity quartz sand with very durable, round grains and in the past several years, demand for a proppants such as frac sand has exploded as thousands of oil and natural gas wells are being stimulated using the hydraulic fracturing process. Having a strong position against imported mined frac sand allows LWP access to a large portion of the proppants market that was never previously anticipated. LWP’s focus is also on developing proppants using minimal bauxite (world’s main source of aluminum) to compete in Australian Markets where mined frac sand is often imported. Transport and logistics costs of importing frac sand to Australia from the U.S. also provides an excellent opportunity for an LWP licensee to manufacture and sell fly ash proppants to the market. Another advantage is lesser handling of the fly ash proppants compared to that of mined frac sand, as the more that proppants are handled during the transportation and handling process, the more proppants degrade. This may result in the proppants arriving at the oil and gas well bearing little resemblance to the same proppants that left the mine gate. LWP Technologies believes it has the potential to lead the industry due to the widespread availability of fly ash, the ultra-light weight of the material and the ability of fly ash to withstand very high pressures in deep wells, that enable the fractures to stay open when drilling. Read more: ADAA | NOVEMBER 2016


COAL ASH COLD CASH? Duke University researchers explain that key components of technologies such as smart phones and electric car batteries include rare earth elements, which are found in abundance on the micro level in fly ash (FA) ponds near Duke University in North Carolina.

Helen Hsu-Kim is an environmental engineering professor at Duke University and together her team study the materials that make up FA from regions throughout the United States. FA is held in ponds or in above ground landfills at fourteen (14) power plants throughout North Carolina. Although rare earth metal extraction technology has increased ten fold in the past decade, Dawn Santoianni, a spokeswoman for Duke Energy believes the metal extraction technology is just not ready for FA on a large scale. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) on the other hand are both prompting efforts to extract metals from FA. EPRI representative Ken Ladwig, claims that the increasing value of the rare earth elements has renewed interest in mining FA at the Institute. EPRI is looking at how leaching FA metals can be done in large quantities. Technologies that could make the FA mining process workable at a factory scale will be determined by early 2017. Hsu-Kim explains that rare earth elements are not actually “rare”, just hard to find in high enough quantities in order to be profitable. In fact, they are found in very low quantities in almost any material. Hsu-Kim’s student, Ross Taggart believes that the rare earth elements and other metals are actually encased in glass pellets [amorphous structures] found throughout FA. He believes you must first get through the glass to extract the [rare earth elements] metal. Duke researchers do this by dissolving and leaching the FA in acids, which separates the glass from the metal in the lab. When government proposals of digging up FA ponds in North Carolina, Taggart stated, “If you have to excavate it anyway, you can do something with it.” The Department of Energy is collaborating with Hsu-Kim and her students to isolate each of the 15 rare earth elements after they are separated from the FA. Filters that can separate these elements by size and magnetic properties are being developed however the elements are very similar in size so it will take time to perfect a method to screen for a single element. [In the US] around 45 percent of FA today is being used to make concrete and roadways. Ladwig and Hsu-Kim both believe that [after] leaching FA for [rare earth elements] metals the residual material could be used as a building material. Through the Ash Development Association of Australia international partnerships and alliances will attempt to keep our readers at the forefront of Duke University’s progress with [rare earth element] metals extraction. Read more:



AUSTRALIA’S GREEN STAR SHINING FOR SUSTAINABILITY With increasing pressure on the construction industry to be greener at a time when profit maximisation and shortcuts may be priorities, some companies are looking for a different approach.

With increasing pressure on the construction industry to be greener at a time when profit maximisation and shortcuts may be priorities, some companies are looking for a different approach. A Green Star rating highlights a project’s achievements across nine environmental impact categories, including energy, emissions, water, land use and indoor environment quality. The rating system also encourages the use of sustainable materials, such FA and silica flume to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More than 1,300 projects have achieved 6 Star Green Star ratings from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) – from offices to hotels and libraries to apartments, even warehouses and shopping centers. The Sydney Opera House even has a Green Star rating. The GBCA launched the Green Star system in 2003 to measure the environmental impact of buildings, fit-outs and communities. Green Star buildings have been found to deliver greater environmental efficiencies, boost productivity and improve overall health and wellbeing, while realising greater returns on investment. Green Star is now the benchmark for sustainable building within the construction industry. According to Jorge Chapa, the GBCA’s Executive Director of Market Transformation, the use of FA is rewarded within the Green Star system. “Because cement manufacturing accounts for a significant portion of concrete’s greenhouse gas emissions, supplementary cementitious materials – otherwise known as SCMs - are used to reduce this environmental concern,” Mr Chapa said. “One of the most common SCMs is FA. We encourage and show our support of SCM usage by having Green Star reward projects with up to two points when the Portland cement content is replaced with SCMs.” Learn more about the Green Star Rating system here:




Australians really have a ‘can do’ attitude, to develop new industries using by-products from other industries. This is an important space that members of the Ash Development Association of Australia and wider stakeholders continue to explore for opportunities. Australians really have a ‘can do’ attitude, to develop new industries using by-products from other industries. This is an important space that members of the Ash Development Association of Australia and wider stakeholders continue to explore for opportunities. One emerging solid performer is the landscape and horticulture sector using the coarser furnace bottom ash material for the lightweight landscaping soils needed for high-rise green walls and roof-top gardens. Lightweight soils mixes are an essential commodity for green construction designs but continuity in supply of raw coarse furnace bottom ash to suit this market is an emerging problem. Furnace bottom ash production volumes are in constant demand. Many entrepreneurs and innovative leaders across a variety of businesses already incorporate coarse coal ash material into cost advantages. Production of lightweight blocks, bricks and panels, demonstrates that furnace bottom ash materials are second to none as product for lightweight applications. However, suppliers of these products still face considerable problems sourcing, accessing and securing application-suited furnace bottom ash materials. So why is there a problem of limited supply availability? Furnace bottom ash is the easiest to work with. The raw material is already sized as a coarse material and in most cases there is little need to screen to achieve uniform product. A furnace bottom ash has the same chemical properties of the finer fly ash from the same source coal. It is also much easier to store and manage off-site as a raw product away from a power station because it is somewhat like sand. Markets have been built around the use of furnace bottom ash, but no real markets have been built to utilise the fly ash produced in Australia, except for cement and concrete production. The production volume of the furnace bottom ash is only one-tenth of a total coal ash production system. Therefore, 90% of coal ash products are the finer fly ash. During the last decade project developers have continued to identify potential commercial opportunities to use more ash, but many of their investments have not been adopted. Australian fly ashes, like Australian coals are the best in the world, with a high market demand but infrastructure constraint maintains a low capacity to supply new markets. Across all industry sectors there are problems in securing and establishing supply commitments with ash generators. Coal fired power stations aren’t running as often, which creates major impediments to market-development. Supply volumes have been influenced by the policy change with coal based energy now being supplemented more by solar and wind generation. This has affected all commercial viable sources particularly those close to major use markets who are facing supply constraints due to decreasing production. Although demand for different ashes is high, the future situation will look similar to today, as more than 60% of all fly ashes will be placed to selected landfill sites. Most of this will be fly ash. Power stations are built to supply electricity and were never designed to commercially supply by-products such as coal combustion products. Being built to generate electricity as an infrastructure asset, into a national energy grid, the resulting legacy issues of ash management, storage and environmental costs are increasing exponentially.

In 2008 total production in Australia was 14.5 Mt. Currently annual production stands at 12.5 Mt and is projected to be around 10 Mt in 2025. Use within the cement and concrete manufacture only represents between 15% - 20%, with another 20% – 25% going to low value add applications. The balance is placed into long term storage, within intensive environmental and operational cost frameworks as landfill. One reason is, that to achieve commercial returns the industry as a whole needs a different business model. We need to focus on programs that incorporate a complete ash utilisation program. Complete ash utilisation integrates rail, business parks and locally owned asset hubs. It is a concept to support the technological developers, to create a synergy between multiple operators and products and the coal ash generators. Without this model the current situation will remain, as a lack of commitment to investment by all proponents. Commercial soil manufacturers supplying lightweight soil mixes will make a great partnership for the construction industry and the coal ash industry. All existing specifications for a lightweight soil rely on the furnace bottom ash as a primary component. Soils for urban high density landscaping are specified with bulk density and water holding capacities that are consistent with their use on high-rise buildings. For example the recent CSIRO publication by Simon Leake and Elke Haege focuses specifically on the properties necessary to achieve best industry practice for manufactured soils. At present, the market for landscape soils is a market suffering, with high costs due to limited market supply of the coal ash materials. With more high-rise, medium density and commercial building developments in progress, this will mean more lightweight soils will be required. It is in this market space that coal-ash is the most appropriate for this purpose. The real commercial solution to achieve a continuous market for the lightweight soils and other soil products lies with the utilisation of the fly ash. We have as a development industry solved and maximised applications for using fly ash within cement and concrete production and developed a wide range of manufactured cementitious product. What we have not done is focused on manufactured materials from fly ash that will do the job of the coarse materials already known to be so commercially viable. If this innovation can be implemented, then the fly ash and coal-fired power industry might emerge with the credentials ‘commercial and sustainable’ and maintain their role as an integral support industry to the construction sector in the Australian economy. One component of the fly ash industry is membership and active involvement with the Ash Development Association of Australia (ADAA). Membership provides opportunities to learn, understand and get the facts for your company to position its limited investments. The Association is currently open to all generators, processors and primary users. Membership is a statement of support to developing market of emerging opportunities for new business associated with concrete construction, precast manufacturing and agricultural applications. The Association motto is ‘Doing together what we could not do alone’ Dr. Jane Aiken is an advocate for the use of coal ash in agriculture.



JAMIE NORTH SUCCESSION 2016 Last time the ADAA caught up with Jamie North was in the May 2014 publication when we discussed his evolving work with sculptures using recovered resources. Fast-forward two years later and he is back chatting to the association to talk about his latest amazing project named “Succession 2016”. Succession 2016 was created for the 20th Biennale of Sydney and was exhibited at Carriageworks from March to June 2016. It is currently residing at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery where it will continue to develop in response to the surrounding environment.

A few words from Jamie… “The sculpture referenced the industrial architecture of Carriageworks, most notably the double columns that run throughout the space supporting the roof. The columnar structures become progressively more eroded as they extend in height, to the point where the interior rebar is exposed and is supporting just the remnant vertical extensions of the forms. Succession 2016 was populated by a variety of Australian plants, including two vine species (Pandorea pandorana and Cissus antarctica) that explored the rebar and almost consumed the sculpture during the exhibition period. In the top vertical extensions, Port Jackson fig was planted in elkhorn ferns, with the idea that this species would eventually continue this consumption from above, and begin to meld with the concrete and steel structure over time. The materials used in Succession 2016 include blast furnace slag and coal ash (furnance bottom ash). I’ve been using coal ash from Eraring Power Station for a while now as a light weight aggregate. Achieving a weight advantage is important as the structures are cast upside down and then must be flipped upright, before being craned onto a truck and then lifted into position. I combine the coal ash with various fibres to compensate for its lack of strength when compared to traditional concrete aggregates. I’m always eager to try new ash aggregates in my work, so please get in touch if you should have product available that you think may be interesting and useful.” To read more about Succession 2016, visit

Courtesy of the Artist & Sarah Cottier Gallery




BERRY BYPASS Almost a year on from our November 2015 Coal Ash Matters report on the start of a $580 million construction of the Foxground and Berry bypass, some 11.6km constructed road surface is currently being completed. Delivering durable, high skid resistant and longer service pavement. Before this South Coast road construction, access to the region was limited to a winding single-lane road. Shorter travel times and improvement of motorist safety were a few aims of the project while simultaneously creating five hundred (500) jobs as well as having great economic and safety benefits for the area. Work that will be commencing in the next six (6) months includes: •

Continuing earthworks across the project

Operating two lanes of new highway south of Berry

Substantially progressing nine (9) of the twelve (12) bridges

Building new roundabouts and lanes in Victoria Street and Huntingdale Park Road.

Completion of the controlled blasting at Toolijooa Ridge.

The overall plan has been to deliver a four-lane highway, with two lanes in each direction and a median separation between Toolijooa Road and Schofields Lane. So far more than two kilometers of new two lane highway north of Berry has been opened, allowing for two way traffic. The realigned Toolijooa Road and extension of Hitchcocks Lane also opened and 1,100m3 of concrete for the Kangaroo Valley Road Bridge has been poured. As well as this, over 950,000 tonnes of rock is currently being processed for re-use on the project.



ARE WE WASTING OUR FINITE RESOURCES? The University of Sydney is currently working on a waste transformation project that highlights the benefits of fly ash (FA) utilisation within the construction industry to ultimately deliver better products and systems for the community. Associate Professor Ali Abbas, Director of the Laboratory for Multiscale Systems at the University’s School of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering, shed some light on his objectives behind the research project; “I am very passionate about developing new sustainable materials and circular processes that serve society’s environmental goals. I am very hopeful that a FA circular economy using our new green FA-cement blend material will serve the future construction industry with materials carrying specialty properties and functions. Overall, this will help divert waste FA from landfills and reduces carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.” All of this research will soon take place under one roof at Sydney University’s Research Hub (currently under construction) where academics will study new technologies that are capable of transforming by-products into different types of energy. “We are building a Research Hub and one of the topics is industrial waste. I specifically am working in the area of FA reuse, together with our partner Delta Electricity who are supplying us with the FA for our research” said Abbas. Professor Dianne Wiley, Head of the University’s School of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering, said: “Our hydrothermal pilot plant at the School of Chemical Engineering is the first of its kind in Australia. The plant has converted various biomass feeds including algae into bio-oils. The School’s vision is to build research capacity and establish a national waste transformation research hub that will support Australia’s waste industry and make significant contributions to resolving our national waste challenges.”

“We are building a Research Hub and one of the topics is industrial waste. I specifically am working in the area of FA reuse, together with our partner Delta Electricity who are supplying us with the FA for our research.”

Research that has already emerged from the group has been accepted for presentation at the upcoming Chemeca 2016 Conference. The research is a study, investigating the potential approach of utilising CO2 to produce carbonated FA as a cement blend for new ‘green’ construction material. It states the FA in the study was provided by Vales Point power plant, Delta Electricity Australia who is a valued member of the ADAA. Dr Anthony Callen (Environment Manager - Vales Point) commented that Delta currently recycles around 25% of the fly ash produced at Vales Point into the cementitious product market and the development of new concrete mix materials creates the opportunity to increase this reuse. To raise awareness of their research of waste transformations, Sydney University published a news item highlighting their research of FA re-use and the idea of sustainable materials, particularly FA, creating a circular economy. Overall the results show that blending FA with general purpose cement reduces the carbon footprint of concrete and ultimately paves a way for the manufacture of new green specialty construction materials. The ADAA will keep readers informed about the progress and research to come out of the Hub in the near future. More information can be found here:



CONFERENCES Concrete 2017 The Concrete Institute of Australia has followed on from Concrete 2015 – Construction & Innovation, to bring together Concrete 2017 – Advances in Concrete Materials and Structures. The conference will run from the 22-25th October 2017 at the Adelaide Convention Centre and will cover topics such as concrete innovations, durability, major projects and interesting application of materials. The main objective of the entire event is to provide a platform for not only global leaders to come together, but for participants from anywhere and everywhere to put faces to names and liaise with appropriate contacts. For more information visit

Construction Materials Industry Conference 2016 (CMIC16) The Construction Materials Industry Conference (CMIC) 2016 took place at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank, Melbourne from Wednesday 26th to Friday 28th October 2016. Once again the Institute of Quarrying Australia (IQA) and Cement Concrete Aggregates Australia (CCAA) joined forces to present this signature conference for the construction materials industry with the theme being Capability and Innovation, exploring Australia’s changing business environment. The Conference highlights included: • Keynote Speakers, 6 plenary sessions and numerous industry awards • 700+ Delegates networking, listening and learning from the best in the field • 52 Exhibiting Companies • 13 Sponsors Companies. As aforementioned, the technical program theme of Capability and Innovation was of value to key industry stakeholders including pumpers, civil and structural engineers, academics, manufacturers, contractors, developers, Government Departments and Local Councils. Whether it was efficiencies in processes, improved offerings to customers, or support tools and business systems for frontline services, every aspect of the business model was challenged. To read more about CMIC16 visit:


COAL ASH matters