In July, the Department of Energy awarded a total of $2 million in federal funding for two projects that will explore innovative emission reduction technologies related to coal combustion residuals. The funding program is intended to economically increase the beneficial use and management of coal combustion residuals, reducing the volume needed to be disposed of in impoundments while protecting the environment and the health and safety of the public.
One of the two funded projects includes Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and I-CPIE member John Fox, who is collaborating on a team led by the Illinois Institute of Technology. The project, Facilitating Implementation of High-Volume Fly Ash Use in Precast Concrete Construction to Increase Beneficial Utilization, seeks to increase the beneficial use of freshly produced and weathered (landfilled or ponded) fly ash as a supplementary cementitious material (SCM) for cost-effective, state-of-the-art precast concrete applications.
With research expertise at the intersection of material science and environmental engineering, Fox will help determine the environmental impact of utilizing high-volume fly-ash in precast concrete. With previous research projects investigating beneficial material recovery and reuse, Fox says “our research group is excited for this collaborative project as the team aims to help multiple stakeholders prevent pollution and protect the environment by advancing construction material technologies. If successful, our research provides an opportunity for increased fly-ash replacement of Portland cement which can help building owners, power plants, and precast concrete manufacturers to lower their environmental footprint.”