Lafarge Canada harvests ash from retired TransAlta power station

Sources: Lafarge Canada (West), Calgary; CP staff

Lafarge Canada and Geocycle, a Holcim Ltd. waste management services subsidiary, will apply the Ash-TEK Ponded Ash Beneficiation System to derive Class F fly ash from material landfilled at a coal-fired TransAlta Corp. power station west of Edmonton. The project stems from a $15 million Emissions Reduction Alberta grant secured in 2021.

As Geocycle has demonstrated in U.S. contracts totaling millions of tons of harvested coal combustion products, the Ash-TEK process entails milling plus moisture and carbon removal leading to concrete-grade ash. Notes Geocycle North America Head Sophie Wu, “Landfilled fly ash sometimes has too much carbon, which affects how much air there is in the concrete. Once we can treat and separate that carbon, then the fly ash is ready to be used in place of cement.” 

“We recognize that seizing opportunities to optimize cement is a key part of our carbon dioxide reduction strategy,” adds Lafarge Canada (West) CEO Brad Kohl. “Driving innovative and sustainable initiatives is a key part of our business. There is great potential in repurposing materials across the construction value chain. Transforming landfilled material, such as fly ash, into a usable product for construction, is a win-win solution for all of us.”

“Our role in this project demonstrates commitment to supporting innovative solutions for our customers that reduce their environmental footprint. Using fly ash to make concrete creates a valuable opportunity to recycle one of the largest waste streams in North America,” says TransAlta, Alberta Executive Vice President Blain van Melle. “It’s a great complement to the zero-emissions electricity we are currently providing to Lafarge from our wind platform.” 

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