Geotube Dewatering Technology Helps Manage Wastes From Power Generation

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Courtesy of TenCate Geosynthetics Netherlands bv

Power generation by-products such as fly ash and bottom ash can be a real challenge to remove and manage. But a simple technology allows facilities large and small to easily consolidate these materials—and make adjustments as needed based on volume.

It's called Geotube dewatering technology, and it involves pumping sludge through a specially designed fabric container. The water filters through; the fly ash or other solids remain, in a form where they can be easily and economically removed.

Facilities around the nation have used Geotube dewatering technology with remarkable success. It provides a solution that is more efficient, less costly, and easier to manage than complicated mechanical dewatering.

TenCate develops and produces materials that function to increase performance, reduce cost, and deliver measurable results by working with our customers to provide advanced solutions. For this project, TenCate Geotube dewatering technology provided the answer.

At a powerplant in Camden, TX, Geotube dewatering technology was used for dewatering a lagoon containing approximately one million gallons of boiler ash, with solids 2.6% by dry weight. Previous dewatering attempts using a long stick Trac Hoe were only partially successful, and the sludge had been laid up on the bank of the lagoon to dry—not an ideal approach.

However, by using Geotube dewatering technology, the facility was able to remove and dewater practically all the solids in the lagoon. After 30 days, the material inside the Geotube units had consolidated to 37% solids. It is estimated thatthis approach saved the powerplant more than $60,000 annually. Plus, the material could be recovered and used for road base applications.

At a facility in North Carolina, Geotube dewatering technology was used with a two-fold purpose to increase the capacity of its ash lagoons. Geotube units were used to dewatering the material in the lagoons, and they were also used to raise the height of the lagoon, effectively adding capacity.

With Geotube dewatering technology, solids increased from 22.5% to 60% in the first 30 days, and the waste material was transformed into a useful structure. This lengthened the useful lagoon life by more than two years, and the success at this one location led to the adoption of Geotube technology corporate-wide.

'The effectiveness and simplicity of Geotube dewatering technology makes it a natural choice for power generation operations,' notes Pete Kaye, Business Specialist for TenCate Geotube. 'This industry must deal with a number of different dewatering challenges, and the flexibility of Geotube dewatering technology makes them easy to manage.'

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