Turning Coal Fly Ash into Zeolite for Effective Waste Management

  • A. R. K. GollakotaEmail author
  • Chi-Min Shu
  • Sneha Gautam
Part of the Energy, Environment, and Sustainability book series (ENENSU)


Despite of technological advancements in energy generation, the augmented usage of electric power, and shortfalls of alternate energy sources forced humankind to rely on coal based electric power. Nevertheless, a low cost and abundant availability, exponentially multiplied the number of coal thermal power plants thereby producing massive volumes of coal fly ash. The toxic nature of these atmospheric pollutant obtained by burning coal posed a serious question to humankind and is considered as the epidemic research area across the globe. Spinning to the other end of the coin, coal fly ash, is a precious waste material with a wide range of applicability, but the refrainment of not being utilized to the fullest extent makes this material underrated. However, the rapid advancement of the technological innovations and the increased efforts and focus toward the CFA utilization breaks the barrier to an extent by developing various applications. Though there is a massive imbalance in the production and the consumption rates, in which the minimum quantity is being utilized, and the rest is directly dumped as a waste material causing substantial contamination to the water bodies and the air. In this regard, the zeolite generation and their application in the acid mine treatment, wastewater treatment technologies could offer some resistance such that, the standards of the consumption rate are enhanced. In lieu of this, the more effective utilization technique followed was synthesizing zeolites from CFA. This, in turn, could be a better solution that serves the dual role of harnessing the environmental contamination and the water bodies that is prominent in the developing nations. The present study refers to the physiochemical properties of CFA, toxic nature of CFA, environmental impact and finally, the surging need to enhance the present and possible futuristic applications especially zeolite. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of the coal fly ash and its mode of utilization worldwide for future research especially the synthesis of zeolite are considered.


Coal fly ash Contamination Acid mine Zeolite 





American standard for testing material




Cation exchange capacity


Coal fly ash




Hazardous air pollutants


Hexadecyl-trimethyl-ammonium chloride


Life-cycle assessment






Sodium hydroxide


Secondary building unit


Stearyl-dimethyl-benzyl-ammonium chloride




Zeolite Socony Mobil


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. R. K. Gollakota
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chi-Min Shu
    • 1
  • Sneha Gautam
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Safety, Health and Environmental EngineeringNational Yunlin University of Science and TechnologyDouliuTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Science and EngineeringMarwadi UniversityRajkotIndia

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