Coal

AEP plans to plug mine with FGD waste

Issue 2 and Volume 101.

AEP plans to plug mine with FGD waste

American Electric Power (AEP) and the state of Ohio will use a coal combustion byproduct to seal a long-abandoned coal mine and block acid mine drainage. The $2.35 million, two-year field project is funded by a broad coalition of public, private and academic partners. The byproduct to be used in the project is fixated flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) material. The FGD material has low permeability and will be placed in specific mine openings to seal the mine. The mine will then flood, preventing further contact of air and coal, which will prevent oxidation of pyrites–the chief cause of acid mine drainage.

The FGD material–about 25,000 tons from AEP`s Conesville, Ohio, plant–will be used as a grout and injected into the mine. The mine is on AEP property but was operated by various companies in the 1950s. Construction is expected to begin this summer. Ohio State University will then monitor groundwater and surface water through 1998 to measure the impact of the FGD. “If this project is successful, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will use this technology to mitigate acid mine drainage in Ohio,” said Shan Mafi, an AEP civil engineer.