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ashes to energy
The Coleman Power Plant Ash Recovery Inauguration

Not since Mark Twain published "Life on the Mississippi" have the banks of the famous river seen such media attention. On August 14th, Western Kentucky Energy's Coleman Power Plant was the gathering place of scientists, journalists, and politicians. All were there to celebrate a new project developed by CAER staff that has both economic and environmental impacts.

The technology will recover fuel and useful products from coal combustion waste. Development has begun on a processing facility to produce multiple products from the coal-waste land filled at the slurry ponds of the Coleman Station.

The project is the first serious effort by a utility to recover multiple products from its waste. This will contribute in a critical way to the utilization of coal by-products nationally, paving the way for projects in many other parts of the country, while having a significant environmental impact.

This is the much sought after scenario whereby industry-academia-and federal agencies work together to solve both an environmental and economic problem. It is sponsored in part by the US Department of Energy, Western Kentucky Energy and the University of Kentucky. The technology used here was developed by researchers at CAER over the past 10 years and recovers a variety of marketable products from stored coal combustion ash.

Speaking at the media day event were:

Debbie Dewey, VP Operations WKE
Representative Ron Lewis, United States Congress
Richard Noceti, US Department of Energy
Ari Geertsema, Director, UK Center for Applied Energy Research
Senator Mitch McConnell, United States Congress
Bob Berry, Plant Manager, Coleman Power Station
Tom Robl, Scientist, UK Center for Applied Energy Research
Jack Groppo, Mining Engineer, UK Center for Applied Energy Research

After brief comments by the panelists, and a delicious Western Kentucky barbeque lunch, Tom Robl and Jack Groppo described the project. This was followed by a demonstration of the Argo, a vehicle that will be used to locate heavy carbon areas and remove the carbon/ash from the pond.

Mercifully, the late summer day was mild and beautiful. The employees at Louisville Gas and Electric (parent company of WKE) took care of the logistics flawlessly. Many of the guests showed great interest in the project. And finally, the media showed up in force. The occasion produced several newspaper stories and television news spots.

For specific questions concerning the ash recovery project, contact either Tom Robl or Jack Groppo.

Photo Gallery - click here to see photos of the event.

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