STUDY OF THE SETTLING CHARACTERISTICS OF FLY ASH-

STUDY OF THE SETTLING CHARACTERISTICS OF FLY ASH-
STUDY OF THE SETTLING CHARACTERISTICS OF FLY ASHWATER SLURRY AND DESIGNING OF A SETTLING POND
A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULLFILLMENT
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY
IN
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
BY
JYOTI RANJAN ROUT
ROLL- 107CH018
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
ROURKELA, ORISSA-769008
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
2010-2011
STUDY OF THE SETTLING CHARACTERISTICS OF FLY ASHWATER SLURRY AND DESIGNING OF A SETTLING POND
A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULLFILLMENT
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY
IN
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
BY
JYOTI RANJAN ROUT
Under the Guidance of
Prof. P.RATH
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
ROURKELA, ORISSA-769008
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
2010-2011
2
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
National Institute of Technology,
Rourkela-769008
CERTIFICATE
This is to certify that the report entitled “STUDY OF THE SETTLING CHARACTRISTICS
OF FLY ASH-WATER SLURRY AND DESIGNING OF A SETTLING POND” being
submitted by JYOTI RANJAN ROUT towards the fulfillment of the requirement for the degree
of Bachelors of Technology in Chemical Engineering at Department of Chemical Engineering,
NIT Rourkela is a record of bonfire work carried out by him under my guidance and supervision.
Prof. P. RATH
3
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I feel immense pleasure and privilege to express my deep sense of gratitude, indebtedness and
thankfulness towards all those people who have helped, inspired and encouraged me during the
preparation of this report.
I would like to thank Prof. P. RATH, who provided me this opportunity to highlight the key
aspects of an upcoming technology and guided me during the project work preparation, I would
also like to thank Prof. R.K.Singh and Prof.H.M.Jena for their support and coordination.
Last but not the least, i would like to thank whole heartedly my parents and family members
whose love and unconditional support, both on academic and personal front, enabled me to see
the light of this day.
Thanking you,
JYOTI RANJAN ROUT
107CH018
4
ABSTRACT
Fly ash is a very fine material which is produced by burning of pulverized coal in boilers of
thermal power plants. Worldwide, more than 65% of fly ash produced from coal power stations
is disposed off in landfills and ash ponds. The fly ash is sent to ash ponds in the form of slurry
with water since it is economical. This fly ash being finer and lighter than river sand has lower
settlement rate, which can be increased by adding a suitable polymer to the ash slurry in the
pond. It is desired that the rate of of settling is fast, so that the water can be easily drained out
form the ash pond. If the water height is built up for a long period of time, then it will result in
the building up off the hydrostatic pressure which may damage the pond and lead to leakage of
fly ash-water slurry from the pond causing various industrial hazards.
The objective of this report is to provide a detailed study of the settling rates of fly ash in ash
pond for polymer (carboxy methyl cellulose) added, and at different concentration levels. This
report also aims at suggesting the aspects to be considered while constructing an ash pond for the
fly ash disposal. The turbidity of the fly ash-water slurry along with the polymer mixed to it is
studied at some specific time intervals with the help of a Nephelo turbidity meter to determine
the rate of decrease of turbidity of the clear liquid at the top of the fly ash-water slurry. This
helps in determining the optimum concentration of polymer dosage for faster settlement of fly
ash. From the experiments conducted and results obtained, it is concluded that the optimum
concentration of the polymer solution to be added is 2ppm (2ml of 10-2 range polymer solution).
The gravitational settling rate of the fly ash is calculated after the addition of the above
concentration of the polymer. It is concluded that the settling rate of fly ash in ash pond of
thermal power plants can be increased by the addition of the polymer of optimum concentration.
5
CONTENTS
Sl no.
Title
Page no.
1.
Chapter 1
1.1
Introduction
12
1.2
Objective
13
1.2.1
2
Specific objective
Chapter 2
2.1
Generation of fly ash
15
2.2
Composition
17
2.3
Properties of fly ash
2.3.1
Physical
19
2.3.2
Chemical
20
2.4
Classification
2.4.1
class C fly ash
21
2.4.2
class F fly ash
22
2.5
How is fly ash hazardous
23
2.6
Management of fly ash
2.6.1
Recycling of fly ash
2.6.2
Difficulties in handling
2.6.3
Problems associated with disposal of fly ash
3
24
of fly ash
Chapter 3
6
24
25
3.1
Objective of this study
27
3.2
Sample collection
27
3.3
Experimental procedure
3.3.1
Requirements
27
3.3.2
Procedure
28
3.4
Results
3.4.1
Turbidity of clear solution at and interval of 10 mins
3.4.2
Turbidity of clear liquid for each fraction of polymer
29
added
30
3.5
Discussion
31
4
Chapter 4
4.1
Objective
34
4.2
Sedimentation
34
4.3
Procedure
35
4.4
Results
36
4.5
Discussion
40
5
Chapter 5
5.1
Introduction
43
5.2
Ash pond layout
43
5.3
Design of bund
5.3.1
Upstream construction method
45
5.3.2
Downstream construction method
46
5.3.3
Centre line construction method
47
7
5.4
Maintenance of ash pond
48
5.5
Stabilisation of soils
51
6
CONCLUSIONS
52
7
FUTURE WORK
53
8
REFERENCES
53
8
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
Figures
1. Fig. 2.1 Production of fly ash in a dry-bottom utility boiler with electrostatic precipitator.
2. Fig. 2.2 ash generation from coal fired boiler
3. Fig. 2.4.1 class C fly ash
4. Fig. 2.4.1 class F fly ash
5. Fig. 3.3.1.1 Nephelo Turbidity meter
6. Fig. 3.3.1.2 Jar apparatus
7. Fig. 3.4.1 Turbidity vs. Time Characteristics
8. Fig. 3.4.2 Turbidity vs. Fraction of polymer (ppm.)
9. Fig. 4.3.1 Graduated vertical cylinder
10. Fig. 4.4.1 Height of settled fly ash vs. time
11. Fig. 4.4.2 rate of settling vs. time
12. Fig. 5.3.1.1 upstream construction method
13. Fig. 5.3.2.1 downstream construction method
14. Fig. 5.3.3.1 centre line construction method
Tables
1. Table 2.1 fly ash generation and utilization statistics
2. Table 2.2 Normal range of chemical composition for fly ash produced from different coal
types (expressed as percent by weight).
3. Table 2.3.1 engineering properties of fly ash parameter.
4. Table 2.6.1 fly ash construction related applications (recycling)
9
5. Table 3.4.1 Rate of decrease in Turbidity with Time
6. Table 3.4.2 Turbidity for each fraction of polymer
7. Table 4.4.1 Height of fly ash settled with respect to time (with and without polymer)
8. Table 4.4.2 Rate of settling of fly ash with respect to time
10
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
OBJECTIVE
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE
11
1.1 INTRODUCTION
Fly ash is a very fine material produced by burning of pulverized coal in a thermal power plant,
and is carried by the flue gas and is collected by the electrostatic precipitators or cyclones. The
high temperatures of burning coal turns the clay minerals present in the coal powder into fused
fine particles mainly comprising aluminum silicate. Fly ash produced thus possesses both
ceramic and pozzolanic properties. The problem with fly ash lies in the fact that not only does its
disposal requires large quantities of land, water and energy, its fine particles, if not managed
well, by virtue of their weightlessness, can become air-borne. Currently, 100 million tons of fly
ash being generated annually in India, with 65000 acres of land being occupied by ash ponds.
Such a huge quantity does pose challenging problems, in the form of land usage, health hazards,
and environmental dangers. Both in disposal, as well as in utilization, utmost care has to be
taken, to safeguard the interest of human life, wild life and environment.
The World Bank has cautioned India that by 2015, disposal of coal ash would require 1000
square kilometers or 1 square meter of land per person. Since coal currently accounts for 75% of
power production in the country, the bank has highlighted the need for new and innovative
methods for reducing impact on the environment. [14]
The physical, geotechnical and chemical parameters to characterize fly ash are the same as those
for natural soils, e.g., specific gravity, grain size, atterberg limits, compaction characteristics,
permeability coefficients, shear strength parameters and consolidation parameters. The properties
of ash are a function of several variables such as coal source, degree of pulverization, design of
12
boiler unit, loading and firing conditions, handling and storing methods. A change in any of the
above factors can result in detectable changes in the properties of ash produced. The procedures
for the determination of these parameters are also similar to those for soils.
1.2 OBJECTIVE
The objective of this study is “study of the settling characteristics of fly ash-water slurry and
designing of a settling pond”. This objective involves the following specific objectives:1.2.1 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

Studying the engineering properties of fly ash.

Study of the settling characteristics of fly ash-water slurry.

Use of a polymer solution to improve the settling rate of the fly ash and calculate the rate
of settling of fly ash by gravitational settling method.

Suggesting the aspects to be considered for the design and construction of an ash pond.
13
CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW
GENERATION OF FLY ASH
COMPOSITION OF FLY ASH
PROPERTIES OF FLY ASH
CLASSIFICATION
FEATURES
HOW IS FLY ASH HAZARDOUS
FLY ASH MANAGEMENT
14
2.1 GENERATION OF FLY ASH
Fly ash is produced as a by-product in coal fired thermal power plants. Pulverized coal, when
blown into the boiler, it is ignited and generates heat and is self converted to a molten residue.
The heat is then extracted by the tubes of the boiler and the molten residue is thus cooled to form
ash. The finer ash particles are carried away by the flue gas to the electrostatic precipitators and
are referred as fly ash, whereas the heavier ash particles fall to the bottom of the boiler and are
called as bottom ash. Different types of coal fired boilers are (a) Dry bottom boilers, (b) Wet
bottom boilers and (c) Cyclone furnaces. Dry bottom boilers produce 80% ash as fly ash and
20% as bottom ash. Wet bottom boilers produce 50% each as fly ash and bottom ash
respectively. Lastly, cyclone furnaces produce 20% as fly ash and 80% as bottom ash.
Fig. 2.1 Production of fly ash in a dry-bottom utility boiler with electrostatic precipitator.
15
In India coal/lignite based thermal power plants account for more than 55% of the electricity
installed capacity and 65% of electricity generation. The ash content of the coal used at the
thermal power plants ranges from 30-40%, with the average ash content around 38%. Since low
ash, high grade coal is reserved for metallurgical industries. The thermal power plants have to
use high ash, low grade coal. The thermal power plants ash generation has increased from about
40 million tones during 1993-94, to 120 million tons during 2005-06, and is expected to be in the
range of 175 million tons per year by 2012.[16]
Table 2.1 fly ash generation and utilization statistics [13]
16
2.2 COMPOSTION
Depending upon the source and makeup of the coal being burnt, the composition of fly ash and
bottom ash vary considerably. Fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide and
calcium oxide which are the main ingredients of many coal bearing rocks.
Toxic constituents of fly ash depend upon the specific coal bed makeup, but may include one or
more of the following elements in quantities or trace amounts to varying percentages: Arsenic,
molybdenum, selenium, cadmium, boron, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury, strontium,
thallium, vanadium, beryllium along with dioxins.
Fig. 2.2 ash generation from coal fired boiler
17
Fly ash is a fine, glass powder recovered from the gases of burning coal during the produtcion of
electricity. The micron-sized earth elements consist of primarily of sillica, alumina and iron.
When mixed with lime and water, the fly ash forms a cementious compound with properties very
similar to that of protland cement. [13]
Component
Bituminous
Sub bituminous
Lignite
SiO2
20-60
40-60
15-45
Al2O3
5-35
20-30
10-25
Fe2O3
10-40
4-10
4-15
CaO
1-12
5-30
15-40
MgO
0-5
1-6
3-10
SO3
0-4
0-2
0-10
Na2O
0-4
0-2
0-6
K2O
0-3
0-4
0-4
LOI
0-15
0-3
0-5
Table 2.2 Normal range of chemical composition for fly ash produced from different coal
types (expressed as percent by weight).
18
2.3 PROPERTIES OF FLY ASH
2.3.1 Physical
Fly ash consists of fine, powdery particles that are predominantly spherical in shape, either solid
or hollow, and mostly glassy (amorphous) in nature. The carbonaceous material in fly ash is
composed of angular particles. The particle size distribution of most bituminous coal fly ashes is
generally similar to that of a silt (less than a 0.075 mm or No. 200 sieve). Although sub
bituminous coal fly ashes are also silt-sized, they are generally slightly coarser than bituminous
coal fly ashes. The particle size distribution of raw fly ash is very often fluctuating constantly,
due to changing performance of the coal mills and the boiler performance.
The specific gravity of fly ash usually ranges from 2.1 to 3.0, while its specific surface area
(measured by the Blaine air permeability method) may range from 170 to 1000 m2/kg.
Table 2.3.1 engineering properties of fly ash parameter.[7]
19
The color of fly ash can vary from tan to gray to black, depending on the amount of unburned
carbon in the ash. The lighter the color, the lower the carbon content. Lignite or sub bituminous
fly ashes are usually light tan to buff in color, indicating relatively low amounts of carbon as well
as the presence of some lime or calcium. Bituminous fly ashes are usually some shade of gray,
with the lighter shades of gray generally indicating a higher quality of ash.
2.3.2 Chemical
The chemical properties of fly ash are influenced to a great extent by those of the coal burned
and the techniques used for handling and storage. There are basically four types, or ranks, of
coal, each of which varies in terms of its heating value, its chemical composition, ash content,
and geological origin. The four types, or ranks, of coal are anthracite, bituminous, sub
bituminous, and lignite. In addition to being handled in a dry, conditioned, or wet form, fly ash is
also sometimes classified according to the type of coal from which the ash was derived.
The principal components of bituminous coal fly ash are silica, alumina, iron oxide, and calcium,
with varying amounts of carbon, as measured by the loss on ignition (LOI). The LOI for fly ash
should be less than 6 %. Lignite and sub bituminous coal fly ashes are characterized by higher
concentrations of calcium and magnesium oxide and reduced percentages of silica and iron
oxide, as well as a lower carbon content, compared with bituminous coal fly ash. Very little
anthracite coal is burned in utility boilers, so there are only small amounts of anthracite coal fly
ash.
They consist mostly of silicon dioxide (SiO2), which is present in two forms: amorphous, which
is rounded and smooth, and crystalline, which is sharp, pointed and hazardous; aluminum oxide
20
(Al2O3) and iron oxide (Fe2O3) Chemical composition of fly ash is as follows: SiO2, 59.38;
Fe2O3, 6.11; CaO, 1.94; MgO, 0.97; SO3, 0.76; alkalis, 1.41; and unburnt sulphur and moisture,
3.74%. Fly ash contain following toxic metals Hg, 1; Cd, Ga, Sb, Se, Ti and V, 1-10; As, Cr, La,
Mo, Ni, Pb, Th, U and Zn, 10-100; and B, Ba, Cu, Mn and Sr, 100-1000 mg/kg. Heavy metals
like (As, Mo, Mn and Fe) show leaching with concentration above permissible limits. [16]
2.4 CLASSIFICATION
Two classes of fly ash are defined by ASTM C618: Class F fly ash and Class C fly ash. The
chief difference between these classes is the amount of calcium, silica, alumina, and iron content
in the ash. The chemical properties of the fly ash are largely influenced by the chemical content
of the coal burned (i.e., anthracite, bituminous, and lignite).
2.4.1 Class C fly ash
Fig. 2.4.1 class C fly ash
Fly ash produced from the burning of younger lignite or sub bituminous coal, in addition to
having pozzolanic properties, also has some self-cementing properties. In the presence of water,
Class C fly ash will harden and gain strength over time. Class C fly ash generally contains more
21
than 20% lime (CaO). Unlike Class F, self-cementing Class C fly ash does not require an
activator. Alkali and sulfate (SO4) contents are generally higher in Class C fly ashes. Class C fly
ash can be identified from its light brownish colour.
2.4.2 Class F fly ash
Fig 2.4.2 class F fly ash
The burning of harder, older anthracite and bituminous coal typically produces Class F fly ash.
This fly ash is pozzolanic in nature, and contains less than 10% lime (CaO). Possessing
pozzolanic properties, the glassy silica and alumina of Class F fly ash requires a cementing
agent, such as Portland cement, quicklime, or hydrated lime, with the presence of water in order
to react and produce cementitious compounds. Alternatively, the additions of a chemical
activator such as sodium silicate (water glass) to a Class F ash can lead to the formation of a
geopolymer. Class F fly ash can be identified by its dark brownish colour. [13]
2.5 HOW IS FLY ASH HAZARDOUS
Fly ash is a very fine powder and tends to travel far in the air. When not properly disposed, it is
known to pollute air and water, and causes respiratory problems when inhaled. When it settles on
22
leaves and crops in fields around the power plant, it lowers the yield. The conventional method
used to dispose off both fly ash and bottom ash is to convert them into slurry for impounding in
ash ponds around the thermal plants. This method entails long term problems.
The severe problems that arise from such dumping are:
The construction of ash ponds requires vast tracts of land. This depletes land available
for agriculture over a period of time.

When one ash pond fills up, another has to be built, at great cost and further loss of
agricultural land.

Huge quantities of water are required to convert ash into slurry.
During rains, numerous salts and metallic contents in the slurry can leach down to the ground
water and contaminate it. [7]
2.6 MANAGEMENT OF FLY ASH
2.6.1 Recycling of fly ash
In 1996, approximately 14.6 million metric tons (16.2 million tons) of fly ash were used. Of this
total, 11.85 million metric tons (13.3 million tons), or approximately 22 percent of the total
quantity of fly ash produced, were used in construction-related applications.
Between 1985 and 1995, fly ash usage has fluctuated between approximately 8.0 and 11.9
million metric tons (8.8 and 13.6 million tons) per year, averaging 10.2 million metric tons (11.3
million tons) per year. Fly ash is useful in many applications because it is a pozzolan, meaning it
is a siliceous or alumino-siliceous material that, when in a finely divided form and in the
23
presence of water, will combine with calcium hydroxide (from lime, Portland cement, or kiln
dust) to form cementitious compounds.
Table 2.6.1 fly ash construction related applications (recycling) [16]
2.6.2 Difficulties in handling of fly ash
Many challenges are to be faced in the handling and utilization of fly ash. Some of these
difficulties include:
The composition of fly ash depends on the quality of coal utilizers. So the costumer
cannot be sure of the quality of fly ash available form a particular source.

The unavailability of testing, labeling & packing facilities of fly ash results in
unnecessary expenses to the costumers.
24

The location of thermal power plants in remote areas creates difficulties in transportation
and lifting for the user industries. [13]
2.6.3 Problems associated with disposal of fly ash
Primarily, the fly ash is disposed off using either dry or wet disposal schemes. In dry disposal,
the fly ash is transported by truck, chute, or conveyor at the site and disposed off by constructing
a dry embankment (dyke). In wet disposal, the fly ash is transported as a slurry through pipe and
disposed off in impoundment called “ash pond”. Most of the power plants in India use wet
disposal system and when the lagoons are full, four basic options are available:
Constructing new lagoons using conventional construction material.

Hauling of fly ash from the existing lagoons to another disposal site.

Raising the existing dyke using conventional construction material and

Raising the dyke using fly ash excavated from the lagoon (ash dyke).
The option of raising the existing dyke is very cost effective because any fly ash used for
constructing dyke would, in addition to saving the earth filling cost, enhance disposal capacity of
the lagoon.
An important aspect of design of ash dyke is the internal drainage system. The seepage discharge
from the internal surfaces must be controlled with filters that permit water to escape freely and
also to hold particles in place and the peizometric surface on the downstream of the dyke. The
internal drainage system consists of construction of rock toe, 0.5 meter thick sand blanket and
sand chimney. After completion of the final section including earth cover the turfing is
developed from sod on the downstream slope.
25
CHAPTER 3
STUDY OF SETTLING CHARACTERISITICS OF FLY ASH
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
SAMPLE COLLECTION
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
RESULTS
DISCUSSION
26
3.1 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objective of this study is to improve the settling rate of fly ash particles in a fly ash-water
slurry as compared to the usual settling of fly ash in ash ponds of thermal power plants. For this
purpose a polymer solution is added to the slurry which causes flocculation of the fly ash
particles and allows them to settle at a faster rate.
3.2 SAMPLE COLLECTION
The sample collection of different types of ashes such as fly ash, bottom ash and pond ash has
different procedures. The fly ash and the bottom ashes are generated at the power plant and can
be collected directly from the discharge points. In most of the power plants sampling pipes are
provided at places near the discharge point or near the storage point for collection of ash
samples. The sample can be directly collected into a bucket or any other container and can be
suitably packed for transportation. The sample used in this study was fly ash collected from the
bottom of the electrostatic precipitator of NTPC Kaniha, Talcher, Orissa.
3.3 EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
3.3.1 Requirements
1. Fly ash sample.
2. Digital Nephelo turbidity meter.
Fig 3.3.1.1 Nephelo turbidity meter
27
3. Jar apparatus (consists of a motor connected to a rotating shaft with a stirring blade at the
base and arrangement for varying the rpm of the motor with the help of a voltage/current
regulator)
Fig 3.3.1.2 Jar apparatus
4. Polymer (Carboxy methyl cellulose).
3.3.2 Procedure
1 gm of ash sample was added to 500ml of distilled water in a glass beaker to form a solution. A
Polymer solution of 10 -3 range was prepared by adding 1gm of polymer (CMC) with 1000 ml of
distilled water in a separate beaker. 1ml of the polymer solution prepared was pipetted out and
was added to the fly ash water solution and the resulting solution was stirred with the help of a
jar apparatus for 5 minutes .The solution was then allowed to stabilize for the next 5 minutes and
28
to let some fly ash to settle down. The clear liquid at the top of the solution was taken out with
the help of a dropper for the determination of its turbidity by the help of a Nephelo turbidity
meter, at regular intervals of 10 minutes. The above procedure was repeated for 2 ml, 5 ml, 10 ml
solution of the polymer. [1]
3.4 RESULTS
3.4.1 Turbidity of the clear solution at an interval of 10 minutes
Turbidity (NTU)
Turbidity (NTU)
Turbidity (NTU)
Turbidity (NTU)
for 1 ml polymer
for 2 ml polymer
for 5 ml polymer
for 10 ml
solution
solution
solution
polymer solution
10
503
495
508
523
20
482
470
446
496
30
457
426
458
498
40
432
389
467
486
Time (minutes)
Table 3.4.1 Rate of decrease in Turbidity with Time
29
550
TURBIDITY (NTU) ----->
500
1 ML Polymer
solution
450
2 ML Polymer
solution
5 ML Polymer
solution
400
10 ML Polymer
solution
350
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
TIME (MINS) ------>
Fig. 3.4.1 Turbidity vs. Time Characteristics
3.4.2 Turbidity of the clear liquid for each fraction of polymer added
Fraction of
Turbidity (NTU)
Turbidity (NTU)
Turbidity (NTU)
Turbidity (NTU)
polymer (ppm)
T1
T2
T3
T4
1
503
482
457
432
2
495
470
426
389
5
508
446
458
467
10
523
496
498
486
Table 3.4.2 Turbidity for each fraction of polymer
30
550
530
TURBIDITY (NTU) ----------->
510
490
470
T1
450
T2
430
T3
410
T4
390
370
350
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
FRACTION OF POLYMER (PPM) ---------------->
Fig 3.4.2 Turbidity vs. Fraction of polymer (ppm.)
3.5 DISCUSSION
Flocculation is the process of formation of larger agglomerates of particles in the suspension by
the help of high molecular weight polymeric materials. The polymer added causes flocculation of
the fly ash particles which results in settling down of the fly ash. Flocculation is affected by
many factors such as: particle size distribution, chemical properties of solids suspended,
molecular weight, temperature, ionic strength, polymer type and polymer dosage.
[1]
From fig. 3.4.1, i.e,. turbidity vs. time characteristics, it is observed that the rate of decrease in
turbidity is maximum for 2ppm (2ml of 10-3 range) polymer added. So, the rate of settling is
faster in case of 2ppm polymer been added. For the case of 1ml polymer added, there is a gradual
31
decrease in the turbidity of the clear liquid. For the case of 5ppm polymer added, the turbidity
decreases initially and then the turbidity increases. But for higher concentrations of polymer
being added, instead of decrease in turbidity, it will promote the increase in the turbidity of the
clear liquid. Moreover, from fig. 3.4.2 i.e.,. Turbidity vs. fraction of polymer, it is observed that
the turbidity is minimum for 2ppm of polymer added, where most of points lie. So from these
observations, we can conclude that 2ppm is the optimum concentration of polymer to be added in
order to fasten the rate of settlement of fly ash. The polymer used for the above experiment is not
completely soluble in water and imparts come turbidity to its solution with distilled water. The
addition of higher concentration of polymer adds to the turbidity of the solution instead of
decreasing the turbidity of the solution. So, the plot of 10ppm polymer being added has a higher
turbidity as compared to the lower concentrations added.
32
CHAPTER 4
SETTLING RATE OF FLY ASH
OBJECTIVE
SEDIMENTATION
PROCEDURE
RESULTS
DISCUSSION
33
4.1 OBJECTIVE
The objective of this study is to calculate the settling rate of the fly ash from the fly ash-water
slurry. The settling is due to gravity in a cylindrical tube. The usual rate of settling of the fly ash
is calculated and is compared with that of the rate of settling with polymer being added to the
slurry.
4.2 SEDIMENTATION
Sedimentation involves separation of a suspension or a slurry into a supernatant clear liquid that
is essentially free from particles and a thick sludge containing a high concentration of solids. It is
thus a process of phase separation. The sedimentor is called thickener if the concentrated sludge
is our primary desired product and it is called clarifier if the objective is to recover the clear
liquid from the suspension.
Industrial sedimentation is conducted as a continuous process in thickeners or gravity
sedimentation tanks that are usually shallow tanks several meters in diameter that receive the
slurry at the centre or side, permit the overflow of the supernatant liquid (over weirs) and
produce a thick sludge from the bottom. The tank bottom is often made conical to facilitate the
discharge of the underflow sludge. The tanks are also fitted with rakes (which are rotating
railings with fixed vertical plates) positioned slightly above the tank bottom. These rakes scrap
or sweep the tank floor, thereby directing the sludge towards the central discharge. When a
suspension containing very fine particles is being handled, the rate of sedimentation will be
extremely low. The rate can be artificially increased by adding an electrolyte which causes
precipitation of colloidal particles and the formation of flocs. The suspension may also be heated
34
to lower the viscosity of the liquid. Slow agitation of the slurry can also help in reducing the
apparent viscosity of the suspension as well as assist in the consolidation of the sediment. [18]
4.3 PROCEDURE
The method of calculating the settling rate of fly ash is gravitational settling. In this method, a
vertical glass cylinder (2 litre) was taken graduated in milliliters and was cleaned thoroughly
with distilled water. Water and fly ash were taken in the cylinder in such a way that the ratio
remained 7:3 by weight (i.e., 1400 gms water and 600 gms fly ash). Little amount of potassium
permanganate was added to the slurry to make it easy for demarcation of the height. The fly ashwater slurry was stirred continuously with the help of a stirrer for some time. The height of the
settles fly ash was noted down. The above steps were repeated after adding 2ppm polymer
solution (CMC) to the fly ash-water slurry. The results were obtained both for usual gravitational
settling and gravitational settling under the influence of polymer. [13/18]
Fig 4.3.1 Graduated vertical cylinder
35
4.4 RESULTS
Time (in min)
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
26
28
30
32
34
36
38
40
42
44
46
48
50
52
54
56
58
60
71
80
90
Height of the fly ash settled (in cms)
Without Polymer
With Polymer
37
35
33
31
29.5
28
27
26
25.2
24.4
23.8
23.2
22.7
22.3
21.9
21.5
21.2
20.8
20.5
20.2
19.9
19.6
19.3
19.1
18.9
18.6
18.4
18.2
18
17.8
17.6
17
16
15.2
36.8
34.5
32.3
30.2
28.6
27
26
25
24.5
23.6
23.1
22.7
22.1
21.7
21.3
21
20.7
20.4
20.1
19.7
19.5
19.3
19
18.9
18.7
18.4
Table 4.4.1 Height of fly ash settled with respect to time (with and without polymer)
36
40
Height of settled fly ash (in cms)
35
30
With
Polymer
25
Without
Polymer
20
15
0
20
40
60
80
Time (in minutes)
Fig 4.4.1 Height of settled fly ash vs. time
37
100
Time (in min)
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
26
28
30
32
34
36
38
40
42
44
46
48
50
52
54
56
58
60
71
80
90
Rate of settling of fly ash (in cms/min)
Without Polymer
With Polymer
1
1.15
1
1.1
1
1.05
0.75
0.8
0.75
0.8
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.4
0.25
0.4
0.45
0.3
0.25
0.3
0.2
0.25
0.3
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.15
0.15
0.15
0.2
0.15
0.15
0.15
0.15
0.2
0.15
0.1
0.15
0.1
0.15
0.15
0.1
0.05
0.1
0.1
0.15
0.15
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.05
0.11
0.08
Table 4.4.2 Rate of settling of fly ash with respect to time
38
Fig. 4.4.2 Rate of settling vs. time
39
4.5 DISCUSSION
Buoyancy occurs in gravitational settling systems, and the main reason of sedimentation or
gravitational settling is the difference in density of solids and liquids. If the densities of the
suspended solids and the suspending liquid are close, then the sedimentation would not occur
effectively. The objective of this method is to separate the solids from the liquid either because
the solid/liquid are valuable or the two phases have to be separated before disposal. The time
taken for settling is known as the residence time of the settling.
The advantage of the gravitational settling is it’s low cost. But if the particle size is fine and/or
the difference in density of solids and liquid is low, the residence time and the size of vessel
required for the effective settlement would become excessive and uneconomic.
Sedimentation equipments are classified into:
Batch settling tanks

Continuous operated units.
Batch settling tanks are simpler and have lesser use. These batch settling tanks are used for
treating very small quantities of liquid. Continuous operated units are used extensively in various
sedimentation operations. [18]
From fig. 4.4.1, i.e,. height of settled fly ash vs. time, it is observed that at any instant of time,
the height of the settled fly ash is less for the case in which polymer is added, as compared to
that of the case in which polymer is not added. So, the decrease in height of the settled fly ash is
faster after the polymer of 2ppm concentration is added.
40
Moreover, from fig. 4.4.2, i.e,. rate of settling vs. time characteristics, it is observed that the rate
of settling of fly ash at any instant of time is greater for the case in which polymer is added as
compared to that of the case in which polymer is not added. Initially, there is a significant
difference between both the rates of settling, but at the later part, the difference diminishes
gradually. With passage of time, as the settling process proceeds, the concentration of the fly ash
particles continuously increases in the settled slurry. As a result of which, the inter-particle
attraction forces increases which results in diminishing the rate of settling process.
41
CHAPTER 5
METHODOLOGIES OF ASH POND DESIGN AND MAINTENANCE
INTRODUCTION
ASH POND LAYOUT
DESIGN OF BUND
MAINTENANCE OF ASH POND
STABILISATION OF SOILS
42
5.1 INTRODUCTION
Fly, a waste of thermal power plants ,has its production per annum having crossed the 100
million tones limit is causing several challenges. The thermal power plants do not always pay
much attention towards the maintenance of ash ponds because of it being a waste. There are
various ways for disposing off the fly ash produced in thermal power plants. Out of these ways
disposing the fly ash in ash ponds in the form of slurry with water is one of the best alternatives.
Fly ash form the electrostatic precipitator and bottom ash from the bottom of the boiler are mixed
together and is subsequently mixed with water in a ratio varying from 1 part ash and 4 to 20 parts
of water. The slurry is then pumped into the ash ponds which are located within or outside the
thermal power plant. Depending on the distance and elevation difference, energy required for
pumping is very high and requires booster pumps at intermediate locations.
No well design procedure or codal provision exists for the ash pond construction and
maintenance. There are several examples of failures in ash ponds which resulted in leakage of fly
ash-water slurry into the surrounding areas including water bodies and creating environmental
hazard. The ash pond is designed economically and proper procedures are adopted to avoid any
kind of leakage form the ash ponds. Hydrostatic pressure over the full height of the bund is
minimized by decanting the water which travel away from the bund forming a sloping beech and
only the ash being settled close to the bund.
5.2 ASH POND LAYOUT
Following points should be considered while selecting the location and layout of an ash pond:
The ash pond area should be close enough to the thermal power plant to reduce the
pumping cost.
43

Provisions for vertical and horizontal expansions should be made considering the life
of the power plant.

The area should be far away from any water bodies like river, lake etc. to avoid
environmental hazard due to any leakage of fly ash-water slurry.

In coastal areas where the ground water is already saline, the water form ash pond
should be preferably drained through the bottom of the ash pond and this type of pond
has greater stability.
In interior areas, it is preferable to have a fairly impervious stratum to prevent migration of ash
water into the ground water to prevent its pollution.
In hilly terrain region, a suitable valley can be identified for forming the ash pond. In tsuch case
the hill slopes will serve as the dyke for the pond and the cost would be less for construction.
In most of the ash ponds, the total area can be divided into compartments and while one is
operational other can be evacuated off the deposited ash for reuse. The deposited fly ash can be
used to increase the height of the embankment which ultimately increases the amount of fly ash
slurry containing capacity of the pond. If the area consists of a single pond , the it is not possible
to increase the height while the pond is in operation. Each pond should have a minimum area to
ensure that there is adequate time available for settlement of ash particles while the slurry travels
from the discharge point to the outlet. This distance should be a minimum of 200m to ensure that
only clear water accumulates near the outlet point.
5.3 DESIGN OF BUND
The cost of construction of a single ash pond is generally high. But this cost can be reduced by
constructing the ash pond in stages by various methods like a) upstream construction method, b)
44
downstream construction method and c) centre line construction method. Each stage has an
increasing or incrementing height of 3-5m. The above methods are described in brief and their
advantages & disadvantages:5.3.1 Upstream construction method
Fig 5.3.1.1 upstream construction method
This is the best design of raising the height of the dyke since it involves the least earthwork
quantity. The above construction method has the minimum cost involved in it.
Following are the disadvantages of upstream construction method:
Since the total weight of the new construction is supported by the deposited ash, the ash
deposition should be perfect in order to have adequate load bearing capacity.
45

As the height of the pond increases, the area of the ash pond goes on decreasing and
beyond certain stage, it becomes uneconomical to raise further height of the dyke.

The drain at the upstream face should be well connected to the drain of the earlier
segment, else ineffective drainage can result in reducing the stability of the slope.

The ash pond cannot be operational while raising the height of the dyke by this method of
construction. The pond needs to be dried to initiate the construction work.
5.3.2 Downstream construction method
Fig. 5.3.2.1 Downstream construction method
After the pond gets filled upto the first stage, the pond height is increased by depositing the fly
ash or earth on the downstream face of the dyke as shown in the figure. The advantage of this
method of construction of ash pond is that the height of the dyke can be raised even if the pond is
46
operational. Disadvantage of this method is that it involves approximately the same cost and
amount of construction as in single stage construction.
5.3.3 centre line construction method
Fig. 5.3.3.1 Centre line construction method
In this method, after the pond gets filled upto the first stage, earth or fly ash is deposited on
either side of the centre line of the dyke so that the centre line of the dyke remains at the same
location as shown in the figure above. The amount of material required for raising the height of
the dyke is less as compared to the downstream construction method. The construction cannot be
initiated while the pond is operational.
Following aspects should be considered for this method of construction of bund:-
47

The deposited particles should support the additional weight.

Upstream face should be pitched or stone lined or precast lined to prevent erosion due to
wind.

The downstream should be grass turfed to prevent erosion due to rain.

Proper decantation facilities should be provided to prevent the free water inside the pond
to pile up to a large height. After decantation the clear water shall be drained successfully
so that the suspended particles in the clear water remains within a maximum permissible
limit of 100ppm.
5.4 MAINTENANCE OF ASH POND
The following guidelines should be followed for the proper maintenance of the ash pond:1) Method of slurry discharge:For ash ponds, it is most important that the discharge points are uniformly distributed
over the entire perimeter of the ash dyke. The coarser particles settle near the discharge
point whereas the finer particles get carried away from the discharge point. Uniformly
distributing discharge points provides adequate bearing capacity to the dyke being
constructed on the existing segment of the ash pond. It is better that the discharge shall be
simultaneously made from all the discharge points for more uniform beach formation
along the perimeter. When the freeboard in the reservoir is less than 0.5m, then further
discharge should be diverted to the other pond which should be ready. A minimum of
50m beach should be formed to maintain the stability of the downstream slope.
48
2) Decanting system:The quality of the decanted water should be satisfactory with total suspended solids less
than 100 ppm. If the elevation of the outlet is low, then the suspended solids will
increase. A delay in raising the outlet elevation will result in high concentration of ash.
On the other hand, early raising will result in increased area of decanted water pond and
reduce the beach length.
3) Raising of ash dyke:The pond already filled up with ash should be allowed to dry without any further
discharge of slurry for minimum 1 month till the construction work for raising the height
of the dyke hasn’t begun. This type of pond should be provided with water sprinklers at
regular intervals to prevent dust pollution. Too much of water spraying makes the surface
of the ash pond swampy.
4) Maintenance of ash dyke:Following aspects should be considered for maintenance of the ash dyke:
Wet patches on the downstream slope formed due to inadequate beach length or
choked drain should be prevented.

Gulley formation on the slope due to rain should be prevented.

Rat or animal holes should be covered.

Growth of plants should be plugged.

If the free board gets reduced due to erosion, then additional earth fill is provided on
the top of the dyke.
49

Total inflow and outflow to the ash dyke should be recorded.
5) Other general recommendations:
The area of the ash dyke should be provided with fencing and unauthorized entry
should be prohibited.

The entire dyke perimeter should have accessible roads.

A site office should be constructed with a full time engineer responsible for
inspection and monitoring of the dyke. [19]
5.5 STABILISTION OF SOILS
Stabilization in a broader sense incorporates the various methods employed for modifying the
properties of soil to improve its engineering performance. The soil used for the construction of
the dyke shall compact and having good load bearing capacity. Mechanical stabilization involves
a) changing the composition of soil by addition or removal of certain constituents or b)
densification or compaction.
Other kind of stabilization includes cement stabilization, lime stabilization, bitumen stabilization,
and chemical stabilization, thermal and electrical stabilization.
Following are the various methods of compaction:1) Compaction by vibroflotation.
2) Compaction by deep blasting.
3) Compaction by vacuum.
4) Compaction by vibration.[15]
50
6 CONCLUSIONS
The generation, composition, properties and classification of fly ash were studied in this report.
Different recycling methods along with the difficulties in handling and disposal problems of fly
ash were discussed which comes under the management of fly ash.
The experiment for determination of rate of decrease in turbidity of the clear liquid at the top of
the fly ash-water solution, after the addition of the suitable polymer, concluded the following:
The rate of decrease in turbidity of the clear liquid was maximum for 2ppm concentration
of the polymer solution added to the fly ash-water solution.

The minimum of turbidity of the clear liquid was plotted for the fraction of polymer as
2ppm.
So it can be concluded that 2ppm is the optimum concentration of the polymer solution to be
added, which results in the faster settlement of fly ash particles.
From the experiment for the determination of the rate of settling of fly ash after the addition of
2ppm polymer solution, it can be concluded that the rate of settling was faster as compared to the
usual gravitational settling of fly ash in ash ponds.
The design of an ash pond involved mathematical approach towards dam construction which is
out of the scope of this report. So the aspects to be considered during layout and design of an ash
pond are provided in the report.
But the experiment conducted for the determination of optimum concentration of polymer is at
low scale and the optimum concentration determined has lesser effect on the settling of fly ash in
industrial scale. The above concentration used in the the determination of settling rate signifies a
51
very small difference in the rate of settling as compared to the usual settling process in thermal
power plants.
7 FUTURE WORK
The report comprises of the experiment carried out on one sample of fly ash from NTPC, kaniha
and with the use of one polymer sample (CMC). Future works can be carried out using the
bottom ash and fly ash samples from various other thermal power plants. Moreover, other
suitable polymers like chitosan, guar gum, acryl amide, polyethylenimine etc. can be used as
flocculants for the faster settling of fly ash particles.
8 REFERNCES
1. Kumar Hemant, Mishra D.P, Das samir kumar, “Settling characteristics of fly ash of Talcher
thermal power station”. 1st Asian mining congress; The mining geological and metallurgical
institute of India (MGM),centenary, 16-18 January, 2006.
2. Gorlov E.G, safier O.G & seregin A.I, “Coal slurries physiochemical properties and processing”,
Institute of fossil fuels march 30, 2007, Moscow , Russia., 16-18 january 2006.
3. masa Eisa S, saleh Abdel hady M, Taha Taha A, mollo Anos M El, “Effect of chemical additives
on flow characteristics of coal slurries”, july 31, 2008.
4. Savitskii D.P, Makarov A.S, Zargorodnii V.A, ”Rheological properties of water coal slurries
based on brown coal in the presence of sodium lingo sulfonates and alkali”, Dumanskii institute
of colloid and water chemistry, national academy of sciences of Ukraine, January 14,2009.
5. Gandhi S.R, “Insitu densification of deposited ash slurry” civil engineering department, IIT
madras, India
52
6. Stanmore B.R and Page D.W, “Yield stresses and sedimentation in dense fly ash slurries”,
Department of chemical engineering, university of Queensland, April 7,1992
7. Parisara, State environmental related issues, Department of forest, ecology and environment,
government of Karnataka, vol.2 no. 6, January 2007.
8. Sahoo B K, De S, Carsky M & meikap B.C, “Enhancement of rheological behavior of Indian
high ash coal water suspension by using microwave treatment”.
9. Mishra S K, Senapati P.K, Panda D, “Rheological behavior of coal water slurry”.
10. ORAM PRADEEP, “Flow behavior of fly ash slurry” , e-thesis NIT Rourkela, Department of
mining engineering, 2008-2009.
11. Svarovsky Ladislav ,“Sloid-liquid separation”. Google books
12. Bhuvaneshwari S, Robinson R. G. Gandhi S.R, “Stabilization of expansive soils using fly ash”,
Fly ash india, 2003, New delhi.
13. Behera Rakesh kumar, “ Characterization of fly ash for their effective management and
utilization”, e-thesis NIT Rourkela, Department of mining engineering, 2009-2010
14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_ash
15. Raju V.S, Datta M, Seshadri V, Agarwal V.K, Kumar V, “Ash ponds and disposal systems”,
Narosa publishing house, 1996.
16. “User Guidelines for Waste and Byproduct Materials in Pavement Construction”, U.S
department of transportation, Federal highway administration, Publication Number: FHWA-RD97-148.
17. Sahu Patitapaban, “Characterization of coal combustion by-products (ccbs) for their effective
management and utilization”, Department of mining engineering, 2009-2010.
53
18. Narayanan C.M, Bhattacharya B.C, “Mechanical operations for chemical engineers”, khanna
publishers, 2005.
19. Gandhi S.R, “Design and maintenance of ash pond for fly ash disposal”, IGC-2005, 17-19
December 2005, Ahmedabad, INDIA.
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54
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