Korea Western Power Co. (KOWEPO) announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with E&E at the headquarters in Taean County, South Choongcheong Province on May 11 to develop mineral fiber manufacturing technology by using cinders.
They will cooperate to recreate cinders of coal, which are wastes generated at Taean Thermal Power Plant, into a high value added product.
As of 2015, domestic coal fired power plants produce a total of 8.6 million tons of cinders, including 7.2 million tons of fly ashes and 1.4 million tons of bottom ashes. Currently, fly ashes are recycled to turn into cement and concrete materials but most of bottom ashes are buried in disposal sites.
Under the agreement, the KOWEPO and E&E will melt cinders by using brown gas, which is generated by electrolyzing water, and develop and commercialize new technology to produce mineral fibers for the first time in the world.
Brown gas, a mixture of hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) gases, has a strong heating power and high burning temperature to such an extent as to melt firebricks in three seconds. It is a clean fuel which doesn’t emit any environmental pollutants by emitting water in the burning process instead.
Once a technology which melts cinders using brown gas and produces mineral fibers is developed, it will reduce energy consumed in a manufacturing process by more than 30 percent compared with existing electricity or coke methods, according to the KOWEPO.
The KOWEPO and E&E also expect that the mineral fiber manufacturing technology using brown gas will innovate ways to energy reduction, which fits with the era of low carbon, and contribute to the government’s policy to circulate resources by creating new demand of coal cinder wastes at coal fired power plants.