Fly Ash Current Affairs - 2019
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Ministry of Power has launched Web based monitoring System and Fly Ash mobile application named ASH TRACK. It was launched by Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy R.K Singh in New Delhi.
These platforms will enable better management of fly ash produced by thermal power plants by providing interface between ash producers (thermal power plants) and potential ash users such as –cement plants, road contractors etc.
ASH TRACK App
The app shows coal based power plants situated within radius of 100 km and 300 km from a given location. It will allow user to select power station from where he wants to take fly ash. It will also show ash availability, distance from user’s location.
It will help power plants to see location of prospective fly ash users surrounding it like – cement plants, NHAI, contractors of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) projects, brick producers, etc. The app will give plant wise, utility wise and state wise fly ash utilization status in the country and also details of ash generation and utilization in real time.
It will allow effective monitoring and reviewing for increasing fly ash utilization. It will help in protecting environment in terms of reduction in fugitive emissions, saving of precious top soil and conservation of land for sustainable development.
Fly ash is end product of combustion during process of power generation in the coal based thermal power plants. Fly ash is proven resource material for many applications of construction industries and is used in manufacturing of Portland Cement, road embankment construction, bricks/blocks/tiles manufacturing and low lying area development, etc.
Fly ash management
Quality-wise Indian coal has much more ash content than other countries. Diverse approaches must be adopted for fly ash management. It includes washing coal at its place of origin will prevent ash from coming to power plant. Promoting R&D for increasing efficiency of power plants will also help in reducing ash generation. Proper management of fly ash is important for environment and also for power plants as it occupies a lot of land space. At present, 63% of the fly ash is being utilised.
Maharashtra became the first state in the country to adopt the Fly Ash Utilization Policy. It was approved by state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The policy paves way for prosperity by generating wealth from waste and environment protection.
- The policy seeks 100% use of fly ash generated from thermal power plants and biogas plants for construction activities.
- Facilitates use of fly ash to make bricks, blocks, tiles, wall panels, cement and other construction materials.
- The policy extends use of fly ash to 300 kms radius of power plant from earlier 100 kms radius of power plant.
- It will help in environment protection and save soil excavation. It also will make available raw material for construction at low cost to help ‘Housing for All’ projects.
- It will also help create new employment opportunities in the power plant sector and pave way for prosperity by generating Wealth from Waste.
What is fly ash?
Fly ash is a fine, glass powder by-product recovered from gases of burning coal in thermal power plants during production of electricity. They are micron sized earth elements primarily consisting silica, alumina and iron.
What are environmental concerns?
The Fly ash causes air pollution. It can also contaminate water and soil systems. The wet disposal of Fly ash results in leaching of toxic heavy metals in ground water system.
Fly ash can be used as a replacement for some of the Portland cement contents of concrete. It can be used in the production of bricks for building construction. Central Government has made it mandatory for use of fly ash bricks in construction activities happening 500km around thermal power plants.