Fly Ash Refining

Fly ash is a hazardous by-product of the incineration of household waste in waste-to-energy power plants and the very last remaining waste type originating from normal household waste that is still fully landfilled. Fortum is one of the first companies in the world that will be able to close the whole municipal waste recycling loop.

Fortum Fly Ash Refining

Fly ash

Waste-to-energy plants in Finland create 40,000 tonnes of fly ash every year. Fortum’s ash refinery in Pori is able to treat 45,000 tonnes of ash annually.

Less waste

The old process results in a tonne of waste that equals 1 cubic meter of landfill waste. Fortum’s new process decreases the amount to 0.7 cubic meters of landfill waste and reduces the amount of material that goes to landfills by 27%.

Towards circular economy

Fortum’s new ash refining process is yet another step towards a circular economy for household waste. The process reduces CO2 emissions by 94.3%, compared to the old way of ash disposal.

Ash refining supports the development of a real circular economy

Fly ash, which contains salt and heavy metals, is a hazardous by-product of the incineration of household waste. Previously, ash was mixed into cement, which was then taken to a landfill, where the salt gradually dissolves into the ground and water systems. With the change in the EU regulation, this method is no longer a valid way to treat fly ash. The regulation states that waste containing a high volume of salt can no longer be dumped into landfills. Because salt accounts for one third of fly ash, a new process to treat it is needed. The new plant also fulfils the new EU Best Available Technology (BAT) criteria, whereas the old stabilisation methods produce a high risk of dust emissions with the hazardous, extremely light dust material. Stabilisation plants also require 3-fold exemptions from state authorities because they do not meet all EU regulations for landfill waste.

Fortum is the first operator to process fly ash in Finland and thereby reduce both CO2 emissions and the amount of material that ends up in landfills. In the first stage of our refining process, the salt is washed away from the ash and dissolved into the seawater. As noted, this is only the first stage; we are working relentlessly to reuse the separated salt and heavy metals in the upcoming years.

Interested? Contact our fly ash experts!

Jan Österbacka

Product Line Manager
Tel: +358503866100

Ville Yrjänä

Director, Business Development
Tel: +358 50 337 3206