Due to sustained pressure of industrial and developmental activities, there is appreciable disturbance in the ecological balance of nature and there is a rapid increase in geo-environmental pollution. The concept of environmental geotechnics has emerged as an answer to the need to understand and to characterize these multidisciplinary problems. This paper highlights the scope of environmental geotechnics. It discusses, in particular, the problems connected with Fly ash.
Fly ash is an industrial waste coming out of thermal power plants and the disposal of it is a serious problem. The problem is very serious as fly ash is a very fine particle having fineness of about 4000-8000 cm2/g and many a times, it even contains traces of heavy metals. The present paper illustrates varied problems posed by fly ash to human settlement as well as to the environment. It deals with the characterization of fly ash from the point of view of geotechnical engineering, which is very much essential for the planning of its safe disposal. It also discusses various remedial measures that are currently being practiced all over the world to over come the geo-environmental problems posed by fly ash and its disposal.
FLYASH IN GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING
Sustainable development is a process in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and the institutional changes are all made consistent with the future as well as the present needs. It is closely linked with the carrying capacity of ecosystem.
In recent years man is facing a series of interrelated problems that are so closely knitted that it proves to be nearly impossible to untie one of them without affecting the others.
Geotechnical engineer played an important role in the development process world over during 1940s and 1960s when enormous expansion in industrial capacity took place (e.g.. identification of minerals and petroleum, investigation of sub-surfaces and soil condition, design of foundation for buildings and machinery and earth works). But, during this period, practically no emphasis was given to matters related with environment. Till 1970s, the role of geotechnical engineer in environmental decisions was relatively minor. In 1980s, especially in developing countries, tremendous expansion took place in waste management technology and the concept of environmental geotechnology emerged.
The environmental geotechnology is connected with almost all activities of mankind. The environmental geotechnology has an additional advantage of a multidisciplinary approach in identifying, characterizing and solving the problems more efficiently.
Fly ash is an industrial waste coming out of thermal power plants and the disposal of it is a serious and continuously growing problem. So, one is compelled to find out easy and low cost techniques to curb this problem. This is where the concept of sustainable development has to be taken into account.
The current paper is aimed at presenting varied problems posed by fly ash to the global environment and the engineering characterization of fly ash, which is needed for effectively planning the safe disposal of fly ash. The paper also discusses different remedial measures that are being practiced world wide to negotiate the geo-environmental problem posed by fly ash and its disposal.
The rapid pace of industrialization has resulted in a large number of thermal power plants, not only India, but also in other countries, to meet the domestic and industrial energy requirements. Flyash is a waste product from these power stations and it is estimated that about 100 million tones of flyash is produced as a by-product annually in India only. Most of the ash generated from the power plants is disposed off in the vicinity of the plants as a waste material covering vast area of valuable land. In India,...