Virginia Electric permits ash separation system at Mt. Storm coal plant

Virginia Electric and Power proposes to install and operate a process for separating the fly ash generated at the Mt. Storm Power Station, with the facilities to be constructed, owned, and operated by a third-party, Separation Technologies LLC (ST) on the Mt. Storm property.

An air permit application for the project is under review at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

The project consists of a process to separate high-carbon fly ash from low-carbon fly ash. The mineral content ash (ProAsh) will be used as a supplementary cementitious product for ready mix concrete. The high-carbon fly ash (EcoTherm) will be returned to the boilers as fuel, which will offset the use of some newly-mined coal and subsequently create a higher mineral content ash that can be recovered through the separation process.

Capturing and beneficially reusing both the mineral and high-carbon content ash has the benefit of minimizing the amount of fly ash that will need to be landfilled, the application from the utility noted. Currently, all of the ash generated by Mt. Storm is landfilled. This project will not affect the generation or disposal of bottom ash (the ash that forms in the bottom of the boilers and is not entrained in the boiler exhaust).

Initially, a single separator will be installed to process ash from Units 1 and 2, which will utilize approximately half of the plant total fly ash production. Subsequently a second separator will be installed, increasing the capacity to process all of the fly ash produced from Units 1, 2 and 3. The pending application addresses both separators.

Separation Technologies LLC’s proprietary technology consists of a unique, triboelectrostatic belt separator. Fly ash that is collected in the main boiler electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) at Mt. Storm is to be placed into silos at the facility. From there, it will be fed into the separation process, which is a belt conveyor with a thin gap between two parallel planar electrodes. The ST separator utilizes electrical charge differences between materials to separate the fly ash into the two products.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.