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Q&A with John Ward, President of John Ward Inc.

John answers our questions about the future of ash in a "no-fossil-fuel" era, regular ash alternatives and more

You can hear more from John at Ashtrans Europe 2018.

Coaltrans Conferences (CC): Due to increasing attention to climate change many countries are considering plans to move away from fossil fuels. This sets the ash business under pressure. In your opinion, what would be the best to do overcome that challenge?

John Ward (JW): Coal ash beneficial use markets have always been mostly about logistics -- storing ash when it's produced for use when it's needed and getting ash from where it's produced to where it's needed As more coal-fuelled power plants shut down in the United States, we've seen rapidly increasing interest in a wide variety of options for adapting to the changing supply landscape. These options run the gamut from more creative approaches to material beneficiation and blending to harvesting previously disposed materials.

CC: With potential limited resources of regular ash products what alternatives do you find most relevant to satisfy different markets?

JW: Ash uses with the highest economic value are obvious candidates for new supply strategies because there is more ability to apply technologies and move material longer distances. Fly ash for use in concrete is at the top of the list. A range of strategies for harvesting previously disposed fly ash are now entering the market at commercial scale. Blending types of fly ash is also becoming more frequent. Relatively new strategies such as grinding bottom ash and blending with other materials such as natural pozzolans are already on the horizon.

CC: Do you think perceptive logistic solutions could play a role in bringing ash products from far away to European shores?

JW: International movements of ash are already occurring in modest quantities. I believe a more global trade in ash products will definitely emerge over the next several years. How large that trade becomes will likely depend in large part on the success of some of the other "alternative supply" strategies already mentioned.

CC: As part of logistic solutions do you see river transportation as a relevant alternative to conventional road transport?

JW: River and blue water transport will both have a role to play in an increasingly global ash trade. Making these transportation modes work, however, depends less on the vessel types than on the availability of suitable port facilities for economically distributing the materials.

CC: What are you looking forward to most about the upcoming Ashtrans conference?

JW: Over several decades, ash beneficial use markets have evolved from local to regional to increasingly national in scope. As the trend continues toward development of more robust international trade, building networks of coal ash professionals from around the world becomes ever more important.

Hear more from John and join us at Ashtrans Europe 2018.

This content is provided by Coaltrans Conferences for informational purposes only, and it reflects the market and industry conditions and presenter’s opinions and affiliations available at the time of the presentation.

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