Information On Coal Ash
What is Coal Ash?
Coal ash is chemically similar to clay, essentially a calcined or fired clay which lends itself as a replacement for natural
resources. There are three types of coal ash produced on the AEP System: fly ash,
bottom ash and boiler slag. The type of ash available at each plant is dependent on the type of boiler.
AEP supplies the various coal ashes from major coal-fired generating plants that it operates in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky,
Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
AEP also markets the coal ash from Kyger Creek Plant, owned by the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC), as well as ash
from Clifty Creek Plant owned by the Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corporation, a subsidiary of OVEC.
Who Uses Coal Ash?
Since 1951, AEP has been a pioneer in many of the utilizations of coal ash in the construction of its own power plants.
Dams, plant roads, stacks, cooling towers and even the company's 31-story headquarters building in Columbus have been constructed
with the help of this versatile and plentiful material.
Governmental agencies have encouraged the utilization of coal ash. For instance, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
has issued procurement guidelines specifying that fly ash be allowed as an option in all concrete purchased directly or
indirectly with federal funds.
The Federal Highway Administration also specifies fly ash in all highway concrete pavements wherever it is economically
and technically feasible.
Why Choose Coal Ash?
Coal ash offers a number of advantages. It is abundant, economical and versatile. In addition, the use of coal ash preserves
natural resources, lowers utility rates and is supported by governmental agencies.
The environmental compatibility, abundance, availability and economy of coal ash translate into benefits for industry. Industries
benefit through significant cost savings while not sacrificing product quality. In fact, the properties of ash are such
that, in many applications, it improves the product. Cost savings are achieved by replacing expensive and vanishing natural
resources with comparatively low-cost coal ash.
AEP: Innovation and Service
AEP is a recognized leader in the industry, with four decades of experience in ash utilization and research. A pioneer in
ash marketing, AEP was instrumental in the formation of the American Coal Ash Association, the ash industry's trade association.
Throughout the years, AEP has advised customers and other utilities on ash utilization technology, providing the following
- AEP's technical staff is prepared to answer questions on a variety of ash applications with expertise that comes from actual
- AEP's marketing and technical staff is available to help customers incorporate the best coal ash for their needs at the
greatest cost savings. AEP also conducts educational programs that are helpful to specifiers and customers.
- AEP has the ability to supply a consistent coal ash from several sources in order to provide the best ash for each application
at the lowest overall cost.
AEP is one of the few utilities that controls the production of its coal ash products. Only ash of the highest quality is
dispensed to customers. Unsuitable ash is identified and diverted to disposal. This conscientious quality-control service
provided by AEP is sought by many specifiers.
AEP also operates a complete Civil Engineering Laboratory that is CCRL* inspected, and that performs all physical
tests in accordance with ASTM methods. The Civil Engineering Laboratory tests the performance of ash products in concrete
and a variety of other applications.
In addition, AEP's Environmental Laboratory routinely provides complete chemical analyses of all coal ash products. These
tests ensure that AEP coal ash is continually and accurately characterized. Customers can specify AEP coal ash products
*Concrete and Cement Research Laboratory, a division of the U.S. Bureau of Standards.