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2020 / 2021 Edition

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New Quality Protocol for pulverised fuel ash

THE Waste Protocol Project, a joint initiative between WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), the Environment Agency and industry, has launched its ninth Quality Protocol (QP) – The Pulverised Fuel Ash Quality Protocol.

By setting end-of-waste criteria for the production and use of pulverised fuel ash (PFA) and furnace bottom ash (FBA) arising from the combustion of coal to be used in bound materials and grout applications, the new QP will help divert away from landfill a significant amount of what is currently the UK’s largest industrial waste stream.

At present, half of all PFA produced in the UK is sold to end markets, with the remainder sent to monofill storage sites.

Until now, those wishing to use these materials in construction and manufacturing had to conform to waste-management regulations and purchase special permits, as PFA and FBA are defined as ‘wastes’ under the EU Waste Framework Directive (2006/12/EC). This will no longer be the case for PFA produced to Quality Protocol standards.

Martin Brocklehurst, head of environment and business partnerships with the Environment Agency, said: ‘The quality protocol standard ensures that both human health and the environment are safeguarded and that this valuable material can be reprocessed into a quality product which can be reused, rather than buried in landfill.’

According to WRAP, an estimated 3,128,000 tonnes of waste will now be diverted from landfill and increased use of this alternative recycled material produced in accordance with the new QP will save an estimated 4,410,000 tonnes of virgin material from being excavated.

Financial impact assessments have forecast a potential benefit to the UK economy of approximately £110 million over the first 10 years.

Dr Mervyn Jones, head of production & procurement with 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.’

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