Disposal of Coal Ash

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mlg172
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Post Sun. Feb. 18, 2007 12:50 pm

This is my first year burning coal and am loving everything about it thus far. I own a half acre of land and am wondering what to do with the coal ash. I tried allowing it to cool, taking it outside and pouring it in a garbage bag and then putting it out with the trash, but it makes the bags heavy (we pay per bag, and I only put out one bag per week) not to mention all mess (dust) that it makes putting it in the bags. Currently, I'm just dumping it in a pile outside and am going to worry about it in the spring.

My next idea is that I've seen lots of signs for "clean fill wanted", I was going to stop by and ask them in the spring.


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LsFarm
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Post Sun. Feb. 18, 2007 1:17 pm

Hello mlg, welcome to the forum. Ash disposal is often discussed, here is a thread full of suggestions:

Ash Disposal?

Coal ash definitely qualifies as 'clean fill'. I use it to fill pot holes in the many two-track roads on my farm.

I'd gladly take several hundred cubic yards of coal ash to use as a top coat on some of my muddy clay-soil roads. If someone wants to truck it in. :) :lol:

Take care, Greg L
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

lime4x4
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Post Sun. Feb. 18, 2007 7:53 pm

it's good for fill and for ice during the winter months.I used a seasons worth of coal ash to build the wife a 500 gallon pond out back.Once your build it up and get it wet and then it dries it's like concrete

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JerseyCoal
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Post Sun. Feb. 18, 2007 9:54 pm

I usually put my ash in plastic garbage bags and put them out with my other trash. Unfortunately, sometimes the trashman will drag the bag along the ground for quite a distance and leave a trail of ash. I recently got a tankful of gasoline at a local station and noticed a bunch of potholes. I know the owner so I offered to fill in the potholes with my coal ash. Each week I've been bringing my metal ashcan to the station and filling in potholes. The owner was so pleased with the results that he insists that I bring my car in for a free oil change. It seems that coal is saving me money all around!

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rt42
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Post Sun. Mar. 18, 2007 4:04 pm

To those who use the coal ash for fill, how do you do it? I mean do you just shovel it into a pot hole? Or do you need to mix it in with the dirt and/or add anything to it? I am new to coal and have a dirt drive way so filling in potholes with coal ash would be awesome. Thanks for the help

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Post Sun. Mar. 18, 2007 4:16 pm

I have a driveway that is crushed granite and dirt mixed. I just put it directly in the holes. The rest just gets spread evenly in a thin layer on the top.

It works great and hardens like concrete after a couple times of getting wet and driven on. :)
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Richard S.
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Post Sun. Mar. 18, 2007 4:33 pm

Overfill the holes then run your car over the pile a few times to crush it down. You'll be suprised hoe fast it "disappears".
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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rt42
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Post Sun. Mar. 18, 2007 5:06 pm

Thanks for the help. I will be trying that out.


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Yanche
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Post Sun. Mar. 18, 2007 6:18 pm

rt42 wrote:To those who use the coal ash for fill, how do you do it? I mean do you just shovel it into a pot hole? Or do you need to mix it in with the dirt and/or add anything to it? I am new to coal and have a dirt drive way so filling in potholes with coal ash would be awesome. Thanks for the help
You can just save it outside in a pile. When you have a seasons worth, you can spread it on the ground, adding about some Portland cement. Then using a power rototiller mix it into the ground. No water is necessary. The needed moisture will be drawn out of the soil and air. The mix will harden into a weak concrete known as soil cement. The amount of Portland cement needed depends on a lot of factors, Bituminous ash usually need less that Anthracite ash. Soil cement is a great base for toping with conventional concrete.

Yanche

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rt42
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Post Sun. Mar. 18, 2007 7:25 pm

What is Portland cement? Is available at typical home garden stores? Also I am using Anthracite coal, so approximately what type of ratio of ash to cement am I looking for? And how long do I have to wait before I can drive over it? Thanks so much for all of the help and support. This forum has helped me out greatly.

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Richard S.
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Post Sun. Mar. 18, 2007 8:23 pm

Portland cement is the hard part in what makes concrete, it's typically mixed 1 part portland, 2 parts sand and 3 parts gravel... if I remember correctly. This would be used in sidewalks. :) You can get just about anywhere that sells things for fixing your house.

Although what Yanche is suggesting will work I would instead just get a truckload(s) of gravel if I was going to go through that much trouble.. The ash by itself will provide some pretty firm foundation, it's only initially quite "mucky" I used it in the past where I park my trucks even to extend and heighten the area and its solid as a rock.

FYI ash was frequently used as a substitute for the gravel and sand in this area because it was abundant. Coincidentally they are using fly ash now in commercial applications for concrete because it strengthens it.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

dirvine96
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Post Mon. Mar. 19, 2007 7:55 am

Could I use the ash for a rough floor in my basement. I still have a dirt floor in part of my basement. The house was built in 1823 and their was never concrete poured in a space thats about 10X20. Has anybody ever used the ash for a project like this.

Don
Last edited by dirvine96 on Mon. Mar. 19, 2007 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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LsFarm
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Post Mon. Mar. 19, 2007 8:39 am

Hi Don, in your basement the portland cement mixed with ash would probably work pretty good since there won't be much heavy traffic or trucks driving on it. :lol:

To test it out, pick a corner in the basement and put down about 4" of ash, then pour on about 1" of portland cement. The cement is a fine, talcum-like powder so beware of the dust.

Mix the two layers together DRY. I think just a rake will do, maybe need a hoe or shovel to flip the mix a bit.

The wet it down with a hose or sprinkler can. and smooth out. If your basement is naturally wet/damp it may get enough moisture from the ground to set.

Test it a few days later, to see if it is what you want on the whole floor.

I have a dirt floor in my basement too, but it is dry, and I have some pretty bad areas in some farm roads out back, so my several cubic yards of ash will be road-topping soon.

Greg L.

.
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

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Richard S.
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Post Mon. Mar. 19, 2007 9:47 am

dirvine96 wrote:Could I use the ash for a rough floor in my basement.
I wouldn't suggest it with just the ash itself, it wouldn't be any better than the dirt and most likely worse. In a driveway it gets compacted by the vehicles and the elements. Mixing it with portland is pretty good idea..... just don't let the neighbors see you running a tiller in your basement. :lol:
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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Yanche
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Post Mon. Mar. 19, 2007 10:45 am

Here's a link to soil cement info from the Portland Cement Association:

http://www.cement.org/pavements/pv_sc.asp

My experience is with Anthracite coal ash. I use it only as a base, and top with conventional concrete. I don't feel the ash based mixture surface is durable for outside use. In a basement it might be ok. The red ash coal I burn has some iron in it. When it gets wet it rusts and will discolor the surface. You must make some test batches to get the Portland cement proportions correct. Vary the test cement proportions from 5% to 15% by volume.

Yanche


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