Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fly Ash Handling

Most of us take electricity for granted.  We just turn on our lights and appliances and expect them to work.  Sometimes you can go years without a power outage in the US.  But last week there was an early snowstorm in the Northeast which knocked out power to a large number of people, and after a hurricane power can be out for weeks.  Luckily most of us never have to go more than a few minutes without power, but we never think about how the power is generated.

The power to your home is generated at an electric plant somewhere.  Those plants can use different products to create electricity, including nuclear, coal, oil, garbage, etc.  But there is a byproduct of some power plants, and that is fly ash.  Fly ash is the remnant after the coal is burned thoroughly and must be disposed of.  There are some companies which take care of fly ash handling by building conveyer systems to transport the ash to a truck or train so it can be disposed of properly.  So the next time you turn on your lights when you come home at night, you can thank the power plants that produce electricity and the systems that keep them running.

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