The quantity of ash produced by Drax each year from the combustion of coal is around one and a half million tonnes. The majority ash produced at Drax is sold to the building industry via a number of contracts with many local companies. The ash sold is used to produce building products such as blocks, cement products, grouting and even making roads. Drax Ash Products is the brand name under which the ash is traded.
Although Drax sells the majority of its ash, some is not a high enough grade to be used in the construction industry. This ash is disposed of under permit (authorised by the Environment Agency) at the on-site Barlow ash disposal mound. The site has won a number of awards for its nature conservation work, and is generally open to the public at certain times.
Drax has flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) equipment fitted to all of its units, and produces gypsum as a by-product of removing at least 90% of the sulphur dioxide from its emissions in the FGD. Annually, Drax will produce between three quarters of a million tonnes and one and a half million tonnes of gypsum, dependent on generation. All the gypsum produced at Drax is sold under a contract with British Gypsum and is used for making plasterboards and related products.
The gypsum is carried by conveyors from the dewatering plant to the storage building, which has a capacity of 58,880 tonnes. The gypsum is recovered from the store by means of a portal scraper machine, and is then taken by conveyors to either the rail or road loading facility. Drax’s contract with British Gypsum allows them to take all the gypsum produced which meets specification to be used in the manufacture of plasterboard and related products. The gypsum produced which is below specification can be disposed of under PPC permit at the Barlow mound.
Pulverised fuel ash (PFA) being prepared for transport
On-site gypsum storage and handling facility