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Pia Jensen

Aug 15, 2017


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This would certainly make an interesting research project, though I am concerned about the radioactive elements (uranium & thorium) in coal fly ash. How would you propose to manage radiation levels in the fly ash?

Radioactive Elements in Coal and Fly Ash, USGS Factsheet 163-97


Ridwan D. Rusli

Aug 16, 2017


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Interesting topic with many possible applications. Agree that immediate next step is to focus on finding optimal compositions with maximum efficacy ie absorption/separation of heavy (and yes, radioactive) metals. By efficacy is meant both separation effectiveness and economic feasibility. Farmers and coal- & power companies alike will only adopt this technology if it saves them money and/or if govt introduces supporting regulation that forces them to do it. In latter case issue becomes political too.

Sergio Pena

Sep 7, 2017


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my only contribution is the following. How will you train people in preparing everything?

Best regards.


Pooja Hariharan

Sep 8, 2017


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The radio active elements are in trace quantities, only to avoid the potential risks associated with it, I suggest to mix fly ash with treated keratin, so that keratin would absorb the radio active elements. Hence there would be no risk in handling it. Also, There will be a demo regarding how to use it by a team from the coal factories. also, pamphlets with instructions( Text and Diagrams) can be given to the people so that they can refer it when they need. 

Bryan Boots

Sep 10, 2017


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I hadn't heard of the potential from mixing fly-ash and keratin; very interesting Pooja!

You discuss the possibilities of such a technology for reducing C02 emissions as well as better disposing of fly-ash, which are definitely positives of such a proposal. You also mention very briefly the potential for such a technology to be used to remove heavy metals from the environment. This might be something you look into further, too. There is great demand for products and technologies that can be used to clean up the environment, in cases of contamination of soil and water. Such an application of this technology could be a good place to start, because doing so could be more feasible to get to market more quickly. Then, once in that market, you could begin to target the same product for application of C02 reduction, too. One other thing to consider is the availability of fly-ash: the world isn't going to completely stop burning coal anytime soon, but its use is slowly dropping over the years (particularly in the developed nations), so it could become more difficult over time to obtain fly-ash (in some cases you might be competing with construction companies to obtain it, as it's sometimes used as an admixture in concrete). But, that's not a short-term issue, and that would be a good problem to have to deal with because it would mean less coal is being burned!

At one point in your proposal you say: "Different crops will need different percentage composition of the mixture so it's tedious to research and find the perfect composition for each crop and also for the farmer to use different composition for different crops." Perhaps it would make sense to choose two or three of the most widely-planted crops and develop compositions targeted specifically at those crops first that you could produce at scale. In future developments, you could add compositions for other crops, too.