Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

Advanced Nanoengineering Materials Laboratory

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Programme


A Global Initiative of Academic Network (GIAN) Course
Re-inventing Fly Ash into Near-whitened Material for Generating White Polymer Composites:

Technological Advancements

- Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, and V. V. Nagovitsin, Chairman of the Inter-regional Association of the Economic Cooperation of the Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation signed the Protocol on Fly Ash in presence of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India and Mr. Dmitry Medvedev, The President of Russia at The Kremlin on 16th December, 2011 after the bilateral summit level talks between the two sides.

Fly ash is a fine powder collected as the residue in the exhaust gases from combustion chambers of pulverized coal fired boilers at thermal power plant stations, which is recognized as an environmental pollutant. It is usually solid, irregularly spherical in shape; at times it is a cenosphere that is a hollow spherical shape. The size, chemical composition and the colour of fly ash vary depending on the coal type used in coal power stations. Because of the environmental problems created by the fly ash, considerable research has been undertaken on the subjects worldwide. These include synthesis, classifications, functionalization, handling, characterization, properties, fabrication of various composites and their applications as cement, concretes, bricks and blocks, lightweight aggregates, road construction, soil stabilization, asphalt filler, waste water treatment, acid treatment, scrubber sludge solidification, oil/gas well sludge solidification/detoxification, mineral wool, bricks for radiation protection, etc. In most countries fly ash is under-utilized (dumped).Recently, fly ash has been used as filler in polymer to produce particulate reinforced polymer composites, saving the other commonly used mineral fillers used in polymers, thereby helping the environment. Compared to other particulate fillers, used in polymers-such as calcium carbonate, fly ash has advantages of being cheaper and lighter (density of calcium carbonate = 2.7 g/cc, density of fly ash = 2.2 g/cc). As a natural product however, fly ash has many disadvantages when added to a polymer to make a composite. One disadvantage is that fly ash contains contaminants such as unburned carbon, which makes grey-black colour of fly ash and gives a disadvantage for industry in general in specific applications that need rather brighter and reflecting surfaces.

UNSW Australia's Sri Bandyopadhyay / team developed a new technology whereby the colour of selective fly ash can be changed from grey black to near white  (95 % whiteness of barium sulphate). This technology can hugely reduce the dumping of fly ash and use fly ash in white plastics, white cements, and white concrete. We are sure that this course will give significant contribution to the achievements of scientific knowledge in the areas of fly ash and its applications in various sectors.

February 26 to March 03, 2018

Venue: ACMS Conference Room

Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur












Site last updated on November 19, 2017