CEE Seminar (ZOOM): Solid Waste Coal Combustion Ashes - Are They Appropriate Feedstock to Produce Construction Aggregates?

ZOOM Link will be provided by the CEE Department
Amir Yaghoob Farnam, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering
Affiliated Faculty Member, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Drexel University

Abstract: Every year, around 35 million tons of coal combustion ash (CCA) are deposited in the U.S. as solid wastes, which constitute environment problems and economic burdens to our nation. This seminar will cover some of our efforts at the Drexel ASIM group to identify a sustainable solid waste management practice to recycle waste CCA to construction lightweight aggregate (LWA). Over the last decade, there have been many efforts on the production of LWA from urban and industrial wastes to not only increase availability/accessibility of LWA, but also to address the growing environmental concerns. However, the efforts for production of LWA from waste CCA have faced many challenges due to the lack of a robust working manufacturing process that considers daily variations in chemical and physical properties of waste CCA. This presentation will summarize our study to systematically understand the required conditions for a successful production of synthetic LWA from waste CCA; and accordingly, develop a thermodynamics-based framework for this purpose. Synthetic LWA is a fast-growing industry and it can provide a sustainable market for production of LWA from waste CCA. 

Bio: Amir Yaghoob Farnam is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Drexel University, PA, since September 2016. Farnam is the director of the Drexel Advanced and Sustainable Infrastructure Materials (ASIM) lab. Prior to joining Drexel University, he spent four years at Purdue University, IN, where he served as a postdoctoral fellow and researcher. Farnam’s research integrates civil engineering, materials science and advanced characterization techniques to enhance durability, resilience and sustainability of civil engineering infrastructure through materials related research. He has authored more than 70 papers and technical documents, and two book chapters with more than 1300 citations. To date, Farnam has received over $3.1 million (over $1.6 million as PI) for his research projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, Department of Community and Economic Development, United Soybean Board, Compass Minerals and Penn DOT. His professional memberships include TRB, ACI, ACerS, AEWG, ASCE, ASEE and ASTM organizations.