New quality protocol will help divert significant amount of UK’s largest industrial waste-stream from landfill

The Environment Agency together with WRAP - the Waste and Resources Action Programme - have launched a quality standard for the production and use of pulverised fuel ash.

Pulverised fuel ash (PFA) and furnace bottom ash (FBA) arising from the combustion of coal can be used as a partial replacement for Portland cement and grouting as well as the manufacture of aircrete blocks.

As PFA and FBA are currently defined as ’wastes’ under the EU Waste Framework Directive, end users must conform to waste management regulations and purchase special permits to use these materials in construction and manufacturing. The introduction of the new quality protocol means this will no longer be the case for PFA produced to the standard.

Dr. Mervyn Jones, Head of production and procurement at WRAP said - “Conforming to the new Quality Protocol removes the waste stigma associated with PFA and FBA. It enables better regulation, ensures consistent quality and will stimulate market confidence. These factors will all help the industry grow existing markets for this quality recycled material.”

Currently, half of all the PFA produced in the UK is sold to end markets, whilst the remainder is sent to storage sites.The total market value for PFA in the year 2006 was £60 million.