New York-based Ash Improvement Technology Inc has signed an agreement for implementation of its CleanCem™ ash treatment process at a coal-fired power plant located in Chhattisgarh, India. This is AIT's first operation in India, with an expected production of over 350,000 tons of treated ash annually.
Coal-fired plants have been in the spotlight in the US and abroad, spurring debate about coal ash disposal methods and contaminants leaching into groundwater tables and affecting public health. China, India and the US generate more than two thirds of the world's ash, a whopping 600 million tons every year.
The CleanCem™ process developed by AIT treats ash while it is formed, and converts it into a beneficial material via introduction of proprietary additives in the boiler system. Ash chemistry and mineralogy are modified in the process to attain the performance of a high value cement substitute.
"By using the boiler as a chemical reactor for our process, we not only avoid the cost of shipping waste ash to an off-site treatment facility, but we also control the quality of the end product in real time," said Wayne Fried, AIT's Chief Technology Officer. "In boiler operations, where fuel and other conditions often change, the ability to maintain a consistent performance of our ash-based cement replacement is a clear advantage."
Indian coal has ash contents as high as 45%, and large piles of unused waste prompted authorities to enact new regulation. Operators of coal-fired plants must ensure that 100% of ash is used beneficially by 2014. AIT is well positioned to offer the market a practical solution.
According to Marc Zacharias, President and CEO, "Now is the right time for AIT to enter the Indian market. We are impressed with India's dynamic business environment and see an opportunity to make an impact in a country with sustained growth in the construction sector and a heavy reliance on coal power."