Geopolymer-Based Solutions for Coal Combustion Product Solidification and Stabilization

Investigators: University of Texas at Austin & University of California, Los Angeles

Start Date:
Sep 2015

Award Amount:
$285,000

Coal burning power plants produced about 115 million tons of CCPs in 2013 in the US, less than 50% of which found beneficial reuse (http://www.acaa-usa.org). Much of the landfilled or ponded material contains trace elements that are highly soluble and present groundwater contamination concerns. Stabilizing waste residues using CCPs from the power plants themselves to make geopolymers. The objective of the research is to design and evaluate geopolymer mixtures made with coal combustion products (CCPs) to solidify/stabilize flue gas desulfurization (FGD) residues, water treatment residues (WTRs) and other wastes, particularly those that cannot be beneficially used and which present environmental hazards. Geopolymers are solid materials made by reacting aluminosiliceous powders with caustic solutions; these present a potentially more stable alternative to solidification/stabilization (S/S) of CCPs with commercially-produced portland cement and can be made almost entirely with wastes produced by power plants themselves.