Utilisation Trends: Coal Ash in Vi?t Nam

- Vi?t Nam

The Department of Industrial Safety and Environment at the Ministry of Industry and Trade is currently addressing the country’s need to maximize the use of coal fly ash from local coal fired power stations. Deputy Director, Ph?m Tr?ng Th?c confirms that the two main issues of last year were the production of fly ash from thermal power plants and chemical fertilizer plants. 

Vietnamese power stations produce about thirteen million tonnes of fly ash and plaster per year, 65% of which comes from power generators in the north.  At the moment, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), only 38.9% is being used as a raw material. The primary product utilizing coal fly ash in Viet Nam is gypsum boarding, used in civil construction.

The progressive policies for using coal ash from power plants and fertilizer plants to manufacture building material products have been enacted since 2014 nation wide. The goal of these initiatives was to help solve the big issue of disposal, and aid construction costs by offering a cheap alternative to sand and other filler aggregates.

VINACHEM (Vi?t Nam Chemical Group) is a good example of a company taking full advantage of these environmental regulations aimed at reducing landfilling of coal fly ash.  Cooperating with a local gypsum company, the group is able to produce 750,000 tonnes of cement per year, using coal ash as its base additive. The group has also recently expanded, building another cement plant that aims to produce 600,000 tonnes per year, with the same coal ash additive.

However, delay in industry adaptation has been linked to concerns with the problems associated with the use coal fly ash in construction materials. Taxing, as well as proper handling and utilization practices are among top concerns of manufacturers and legislators. MOIT has executed their newest initiative for safe handling and sourcing by reducing the importation of gypsum, as well as monitoring the exploitation of natural gypsum in the country. The MOIT will continue to work with the Vi?t Nam Chemical Group and other organizations like it to develop quality assurance criteria for construction projects and production of materials used in construction.

Sustainability Through CSA Cement

- Malaysia

Sustainability is simply the ability to meet the demands of today without negatively impacting the future. This goal is not easily met, especially in the construction industry. With demands for building materials on the rise in places like Malaysia and Vietnam, companies scramble to provide quality building materials such as concrete, cement, ceramic, etc, while still adhering to ever tightening restrictions on emission and waste disposal. Switching unfriendly environmental practices to a more efficient infrastructure of Building materials manufacturers providing suitable coal ash byproducts from local power station waste is not yet common practice. As legislative reform takes its time, researchers are attacking the problem of reusing industrial waste from all angles.

CSA (Calcium Sulfoaluminate) cement is another approach at reducing energy to produce environmentally friendlier cement.  Calcium Sulfoaluminate requires lower heating temperatures to produce. CSA is composed of a mixture of bauxite, limestone and gypsum and burning these at lower temperatures emits representatively lower amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Also, the amount of limestone needed is much less. Limestone is said to be one of the key emitters of carbon dioxide in the sintering process. Using less materials and less energy is not only better for the environment, but more appealing to building materials manufacturers.

Dr. Tom Robl, Associate Director, Environmental & Coal Technologies at University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research will be presenting the latest research and discussing CSA cement at the upcoming Coal Ash Asia. To join Tom at this year’s event please register by Clicking Here!

Coal Ash Waste Increases in Viet Nam

HA NOI (Viet Nam) - Evidence shows that although coal waste from thermal power plants in Viet Nam has increased, the country still hasn’t made any meaningful movement towards utilization or industry reform. With density of 45 tonnes per square kilometer of cinder and coal ash, Viet Nam ranks at the top of the list in landfilling of coal ash, just below China. 

Further studies show that Viet Nam currently has approximately twenty coal fired power plants who contribute to the current fifteen million tonnes of ash that is being discharged annually. This number is expected to double in less than ten years. 

Recent measures to address this matter include a formal request from the Prime Minister to implement coal and ash treatment equipment in all plants, and to bring into operation by 2020. The follow up to this request was to be an undertaking by the Ministry of Construction, to work with industry organizations to create standards and regulations for this transition. Neither standards for managing this change nor incentivization for companies switching to green waste management practices has been issued. 

Among the many disappointed with current practices for fly and coal ash management is current deputy head at Binh Thuan Province’s Department of Science Technology, Nguyen Van Nhon. Mr. Van Nhon condemns the current method of burying the waste of thermal power plants, as it not only negatively affect’s the land and water quality, but is considerably wasteful considering the demand for these ashes in parts of the world not too far from Viet Nam’s borders. 

Winh Tan 2 plant in Binh Thuan is notably under scrutiny for its practices this year, taking no efforts to change their practices even after large groups protesting their plants and a formal charge of 66,000 USD from the government. 

Industry and academic leaders are calling for immediate action regarding the lack of change in coal-fired power plants’ waste management. Industry changes require cooperation from all sides in order to be effective, as witnessed in the smokestack industries of China, India and the USA. The first step is to create preferential policies for waste treatment measures adopted by power plants. Secondly, the government needs to strengthen inspection protocols and reprimand companies that violate the Prime Minister’s new waste management reform. These steps will hopefully encourage the functioning power plants to find interested buyers of fly ash and reduce the exploitation of Viet Nam’s natural resources.