It is said that coal combustion residuals (CCRs) consist primarily of fly ash; bottom ash; boiler slag; flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum and other FGD-solid by-products, as well as fluidized bed combustor ash from pulverized coal-fired power plants and other combustion-based coal power plants.

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CCRs constitute one the largest classes of industrial by-products generated in the United States. R&D under this FOA aims to economically increase the beneficial use and advance the management of CCRs, thereby reducing the volume of CCRs needed to be disposed of in impoundments while protecting the environment and the health and safety of the public.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the projects selected through this FOA, which focuses on two areas of interest (AOIs):

AOI 1: Advanced Concepts and Technologies to Increase the Beneficial Use of CCRs

Under this AOI, DOE seeks R&D approaches that are:

  1. directed at the fraction of coal-combustion products that are not currently being recycled or beneficially reused at high levels;
  2. focused on improvements in the performance and cost of beneficiation/upgrading of technology associated with high-volume reuse materials such as fly ash and synthetic gypsum; and/or
  3. aimed at advancing cost-effective approaches for removing, upgrading, and beneficially recycling CCRs from active and inactive storage impoundments.

AOI 2: Advanced Concepts and Technologies for Managing Inactive and Legacy CCR Impoundments

Under this AOI, DOE seeks R&D approaches that:

  1. provide a cost-efficient and environmentally sound alternative to the physical removal of the material of interest through innovative technologies, concepts, and processes; and/or
  2. protect the environment and the health of the public through innovative concepts that treat leachates and related discharges from both active and inactive (legacy) unlined or inadequately lined CCR impoundments and ponds, with a particular focus on selenium and arsenic.

Adding to this, in his 2020 State of the Union Address, the U.S. President Donald Trump highlighted the success of the oil and gas industry.In fact, he stressed that thanks to the bold regulatory reduction campaign, the United States has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world.