On Tuesday, a working group of Russia's State Council supported the Comprehensive Plan for the Disposal of Solid Fuel Combustion Wastes, developed by the Ministry of Energy. One and a half billion tonnes of ash and slag accumulated in the dumps of power plants and boiler houses are already bringing enormous benefits to the economy: $1.3 billion until 2035 through savings in the production of building materials and polymers.
However, in order to exploit this wealth, construction companies and power plants need incentives. In this regard, according to the State Council's working group, the state should play a decisive role. Many countries are trying to utilise waste generated from the combustion of coal, peat and other fuels at power and metallurgical plants, albeit with mixed success.
In a number of European environmentally conscious countries such as Germany, the Netherlands or Denmark, the share of ash and slag waste utilisation is 100 percent. It is used to produce concrete for foundations, bricks, spheroplasts, fertilisers, road surfaces and other commercial products. They even experience a lack of own slag for these purposes and have to import it from Poland and other countries.
In India and China, the utilisation rate is 40-50%. Ash and slag are used there in road and civil construction, land rehabilitation and fertilisation. Moreover, in India, the use of slag in some types of work is mandatory. Just imagine: over 300 ash and slag utilisation technologies are now in use, even to concentrate gold.