Managing Coal Combustion Residuals

Coal Combustion Residuals and Reuse

Burning coal results in a generation of residuals. These residuals, called bottom ash and fly ash, are collected and removed from the boiler and flue gas. Residuals from air pollution control equipment (called "scrubbers") produce synthetic gypsum. The residuals can be used beneficially or be stored in either a collection pond or a landfill. 

Recycling Coal Ash Makes Good Sense 
Ameren has recycled on average more than half of its coal combustion residuals into beneficial uses and has been recognized as a leader in ash recycling.

Fly ash is used as a direct replacement for cement or other materials used in the production of concrete. We have received national recognition for the Quikrete Packaging Facility, where over 4,000 tons of fly ash and 4,000 tons of bottom ash are recycled into about 2 million bags of high quality concrete mix annually.

Bottom ash is also used for snow and ice control, blasting grit and roofing shingles.

Synthetic gypsum can be used as a direct replacement for mined gypsum in the production of wall board.

Coal Ash Storage

Some coal ash is managed in long-term structures on Ameren power plant properties. These specially built structures allow Ameren to manage fly and bottom ash. The two types of long-term ash storage facilities are: 

  • Ash Storage Ponds
    The ash is delivered to the pond mixed with water. In these ponds, the ash settles and the excess water is discharged in accordance with the facility permit.

    Ameren manages ash ponds systems at all of its coal-generating facilities and one active landfill, with a second landfill under construction.
  • Ash Storage Landfills
    Landfills receive the ash in a mainly dry form (a small amount of moisture is added for handling and to avoid dusting).
    Ameren currently manages one landfill and is pursuing permits for additional landfills. Each of the landfills will be about 200 acres in size. All landfills are subject to environmental permitting requirements.

  • Labadie Utility Waste Management Facility 
  • Ameren Missouri is planning to develop a state-of-the-art solid waste management facility at the Labadie Energy Center on 200 acres east of the facility. The levee-protected property is between the Missouri River and the hills to the south in Franklin County, Mo.  

    The facility will provide long-term or permanent storage of "coal combustion residuals," which are the solids produced when coal is burned. These solids are either collected from the boiler (bottom ash) or they are removed from the flue gas (fly ash or future scrubber waste). The project is subject to requirements established by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Franklin County, and other federal, state, county and local agencies. 

Pond Information, Reports and Risk Assessments

Ash ponds are currently regulated under waste water regulations, and we are required to obtain permits for our waste water discharges. Landfills receiving ash are permitted under state solid waste regulations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) proposed two alternative regulatory options for the assessment and management of coal combustion products. The rules would establish national standards for design, monitoring, inspection, permitting and closure requirements for existing ash ponds and design criteria for new ash disposal landfills.

Labadie Ash Pond

Venice Ash Ponds


Additional Reports

Other Resources on Ash Management

Managing Coal Combustion Residuals

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