As we've documented to the point of tedium, as for one example in our report of:

Coal Ash Concrete More Durable, Resists Chemical Attack | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 5,772,752 - Sulfate and Acid Resistant Concrete and Mortar; 1998; Assignee: New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark; Abstract: The present invention relates to concrete, mortar and other hardenable mixtures comprising cement and fly ash for use in construction and other applications, which hardenable mixtures demonstrate significant levels of acid and sulfate resistance";


Coal Ash can be utilized as a fine, and reactive, aggregate for Portland Cement, in place of some or all of the conventional sand and gravel, to make Portland Cement Concrete, "PCC"; a PCC that is both stronger and more resistant to corrosion and chemical attack than is conventional PCC.

So much better is Coal Ash-containing PCC, in fact, that, as seen in:

Coal Ash in Concrete Saves $100 Billion | Research & Development | News; concerning: "The Economic Impacts of Prohibiting Coal Fly Ash Use in Transportation Infrastructure Construction; 2011; Prepared by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation. In 1985, with a vision and commitment to “promoting research, education and public awareness,” ARTBA’s volunteer leaders created the association’s Transportation Development Foundation (TDF). Today, the Foundation has become the industry’s premier non-profit organization, conducting a multi-million dollar program of work annually that is aimed at educating the public about the many benefits of transportation improvements and articulating the need to significantly boost investment to meet the future demands of U.S. motorists and businesses. Executive Summary: Fly Ash: A High-Return “Green” Building Material";

its higher performance could save the United States of America, as revealed in the full article, 100 Billion dollars in avoided infrastructure repair costs, if Coal Ash Concrete were broadly used as a material of construction for roads and bridges.

Moreover, as seen for one example in:

Pennsylvania Improves Use of Coal Flue Gas Gypsum | Research & Development | News;concerning: "United States Patent 5,362,471 - Producing Gypsum Flake from Flue Gas Desulfurization; 1994; Assignee: Air Products and Chemicals, Incorporated, Allentown (PA); Abstract: This invention relates to an improved process for producing gypsum calcium sulfate dihydrate flakes from powdered gypsum calcium sulfate dihydrate obtained from the desulfurization of flue gas by the wet limestone process. ... This invention pertains to an improved process for producing flakes from gypsum calcium sulfate dihydrates obtained from the desulfurization of flue gas by the wet limestone process with forced oxidation. Gypsum, which is calcium sulfate, has wide application in the manufacture of construction products and particularly wallboard";

Coal-fired power plant flue gas desulfurization sludge can be processed into synthetic Gypsum, for use in such construction products as dry wall, or, "wallboard". 

Further, as we documented recently in: 

EPA Okays Use of Coal Ash in Concrete and Wallboard | Research & Development | News; concerning the United States Environmental Protection Agency news release: "EPA Evaluation Finds Use of Coal Ash in Concrete and Wallboard Appropriate; 02/07/2014WASHINGTON – Using a newly developed methodology, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released its evaluation of the two largest beneficial uses of encapsulated coal combustion residuals (CCR or coal ash): use in concrete as a substitute for portland cement, and the use of flue gas desulfurization gypsum as a substitute for mined gypsum in wallboard. EPA’s evaluation concluded that the beneficial use of encapsulated CCRs in concrete and wallboard is appropriate because they are comparable to virgin materials or below the agency’s health and environmental benchmarks. These two uses account for nearly half of the total amount of coal ash that is beneficially used. “The protective reuse of coal ash advances sustainability by saving valuable resources, reducing costs, and lessening environmental impacts, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response";

the US EPA not long ago announced, that, as a result of further study, they approve of and encourage the productive and profitable use of Coal Ash in Concrete and of "flue gas desulfurization gypsum" in "wallboard".

And, herein, as recently made accessible on the web, we present you with the US EPA study and evaluation which led to that February, 2014, EPA news release. Comment follows excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch to:

"Coal Combustion Residual Beneficial Use Evaluation: Fly Ash Concrete and FGD Gypsum Wallboard

February 2014; Final

United States Environmental Protection Agency: Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response and Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery

Executive Summary:

Purpose: The goal of this document is to use sound science based on accepted and standard practices to determine whether the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or ”the Agency”) should support the beneficial use of coal fly ash in concrete and flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum in wallboard. Coal fly ash used as a direct substitute for portland cement in concrete (hereafter referred to as “fly ash concrete”) and FGD gypsum used as a replacement for mined gypsum in wallboard (hereafter referred to as “FGD gypsum wallboard”) are the two largest encapsulated beneficial uses of coal combustion residuals (CCRs) in the United States.

In addition, this document provides an example of how to conduct similar analyses using EPA’s Methodology for Evaluating Encapsulated Beneficial Uses of Coal Combustion Residuals (US EPA, 2013a).

This example also demonstrates an appropriate level of documentation for such analyses.


Based on the analysis set forth in this document, the evaluation concludes that environmental releases of constituents of potential concern (COPCs) from CCR fly ash concrete and FGD gypsum wallboard during use by the consumer are comparable to or lower than those from analogous non-CCR products, or are at or below relevant regulatory and health-based benchmarks for human and ecological receptors.

The beneficial use of CCRs, when conducted in an environmentally sound manner, can contribute significant environmental and economic benefits.

Environmental benefits can include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced need for disposing of CCRs in landfills, and reduced use of virgin resources.

Economic benefits can include job creation in the beneficial use industry, reduced costs associated with CCR disposal, increased revenue from the sale of CCRs, and savings from using CCRs in place of other more costly materials.

Based on the conclusion of the analysis in this document stated above, and the available environmental and economic benefits, EPA supports the beneficial use of coal fly ash in concrete and FGD gypsum in wallboard.

The Agency believes that these beneficial uses provide significant opportunities to advance Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)."


We'll keep our excerpts brief. The full report is lengthy, but we'll forward a copy of it to the West Virginia Coal Association, should they wish to provide a link to their own copy of it on their web site.

It is full of data and can make for tedious reading; and, it does, of course, contain a number of cautionary caveats. But, the conclusion is clear:

The United States Environmental Protection Agency approves of and supports both the use of Coal Ash as an additive to, as an aggregate in, Concrete, and, the use of Flue Gas Desulfurization Gypsum in wallboard.

Such uses represent both environmental and economic advantages relative to current practice.

And, again, one of the economic advantages would be "job creation" in United States Coal Country.

But, the EPA's determinations do not take into account other, closely related, potentials for the use of Coal Ash and FGD Gypsum.

Not well known is the fact that Gypsum, in addition to it's use in wallboard, is one of the raw material components that go into the feed of a Cement kiln, to make Portland Cement. But, as seen in our report of:

Synthetic Gypsum from Coal Power Plant Flue Gas | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 7,776,150 - Process and Apparatus for Handling Synthetic Gypsum; 2010; Assignees: Koppern Equipment Company, NC, and Giant Cement Company, SC; Abstract: Method and apparatus for converting wet synthetic gypsum from a flue desulphurization process (FGD) to easily handled and metered briquettes ... . A process for preparing and handling synthetic gypsum for cement production ... . This invention relates to a process and apparatus for handling synthetic gypsum so that it may be more effectively handled, stored, and metered in cement production and similar processes";

some companies do know that, and have made provision for such use of FGD Gypsum, thus increasing the market for it above and beyond that represented by it's now EPA-encouraged use in "wallboard".

Even further, as seen in our report of:

Pittsburgh Converts Coal Ash and Flue Gas into Cement | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 5,766,339 - Producing Cement from a Flue Gas Desulfurization Waste; 1998; Assignee: Dravo Lime Company, Pittsburgh (PA); Abstract: Cement is produced by forming a moist mixture of a flue gas desulfurization process waste product (and) aluminum, iron, silica and carbon, agglomerating the moist mixture while drying the same to form a feedstock, and calcining the dry agglomerated feedstock in a rotary kiln. Claims: A process for producing cement from a flue gas desulfurization process waste product ... wherein said source of aluminum and iron comprises fly ash";

Coal Ash can, as well, be used and consumed, in place of the conventional mined and quarried raw materials, as a raw material for the making of Portland-type Cement itself, to which, as per the US EPA recommendations, and as specified in our above-cited report concerning: "United States Patent 5,772,752 - Sulfate and Acid Resistant Concrete and Mortar", more Coal Ash can be added as a reactive aggregate, to make a higher-performing Portland-type Cement Concrete.

How many more "Economic benefits", which, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, would include "job creation", do you suppose those expanded uses for Coal Ash and Flue Gas Desulfurization Gypsum, in addition to their now EPA-approved uses in just Concrete and Wallboard, do you suppose those would bring to United States Coal Country?

Far past time we started trumpeting all the news and finding out, ain't it?

West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw