The World of Coal Ash 2022

American Coal Ash Association and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research
May 16–19, 2022
Covington, Kentucky

The American Coal Ash Association and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research will host their World of Coal Ash (WOCA) 2022 in Covington, Kentucky, May 16–19. As the 9th joint biennial meeting, WOCA 2022 focuses on the science, applications, and sustainability of worldwide coal combustion products as well as gasification products.

Exponent’s Tarek Saba, Ph.D., principal scientist and office director, will deliver two presentations. The first, “Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: Understanding Background Groundwater Conditions Surrounding Coal Ash Ponds,” is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17, at 3:30 PM ET/12:30 PM PT. In his presentation, Dr. Saba reviews background groundwater conditions for potential coal ash constituents from national databases, peer-reviewed literature, historical sampling records, and reference areas unaffected by coal ash-related activities. The constructed background database enables the evaluation of groundwater conditions across different geologic formations and regions. In addition, site-specific background concentration measurements may be relevant for addressing local background sources not captured on a regional scale. Chemometric analysis of end-member samples (i.e., background and coal ash leachate) was conducted using compound ratios, principal component analysis, and cluster analysis. The analysis demonstrates the steps to evaluating end-member chemical patterns and the usability of different chemicals to identify coal ash impacts to groundwater.

On Wednesday, May 18, at 8:30 AM ET/5:30 AM PT, Dr. Saba will discuss “To Leach or Not to Leach: Modeling Compounds Leaching from Saturated Coal Ash to Evaluate Different Closure Scenarios.” This presentation outlines the steps involved in selecting leaching parameters and mathematical formulas to simulate leach rates such as linear equilibrium and rate limited. Chemicals of interest (COI) breakthrough curves using different leach models and under different closure options will be presented and explained. The effect of installing groundwater flow controls on simulated future COI breakthrough curves (e.g., installation of extraction wells and interception trenches) will be evaluated.

In addition, Konrad J. Kulacki, Ph.D., Exponent managing scientist, will explore “Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) Assessments and Experimental Considerations for Evaluating Coagulation Agents and Polymers for Wastewater Treatment of Coal Combustion Products,” Thursday, May 19, at 10:30 AM ET/7:30 AM PT. Dr. Kulacki’s presentation provides an overview of the acute and chronic toxicity of various cations and anions representing total dissolved solids of ash basin dewatering effluents to standard organisms used in WET testing and discusses strategies for performing toxicity reduction evaluations on ash basin effluents that have been identified as unacceptably toxic as part of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit compliance. It also provides considerations for assessing coagulation agents and polymers as part of the selection of wastewater treatment management controls, including discussion and recommendations for designing experiments for determining potential toxicity of coagulation agents and emulsified and dry polymer agents.

Exponent’s Margaret L. Fleming, Ph.D., senior associate, will also be in attendance.

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