Utilization of Paper Mill Waste in Ceramic Products

EPA Grant Number: R830420C002
Subproject: this is subproject number 002 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R830420
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Center for Environmental and Energy Research (CEER)
Center Director: Earl, David A.
Title: Utilization of Paper Mill Waste in Ceramic Products
Investigators: Earl, David A. , Sinton, Chris
Institution: Alfred University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: September 1, 2003 through August 31, 2005
RFA: Targeted Research Center (2002) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Targeted Research , Congressionally Mandated Center


This is one of the subprojects conducted by the Center for Environmental and Energy Research (CEER).  The main objectives of this research project are to:  (1) characterize paper waste material from at least three sources; (2) study the performance of ceramic tile body formulations containing variable amounts of waste materials; and (3) estimate the environmental and economic impacts of using waste materials.  Ceramic tile products, with formulations incorporating boiler fly and bottom ash, were studied to evaluate and quantify composition-processing-properties relationships.  Tile manufacture is used in this investigation because:  (1) the ash is most readily compatible with the starting materials; (2) production volumes are high; (3) there are multiple manufacturing locations across the U. S.; and (4) the raw materials specifications are relatively broad.


The project will measure the H2 adsorption of the novel carbon and study the mechanisms of adsorption. The advantage of the C6B deposition process is that it enables high concentrations of boron to be placed in the solid throughout its growth process. Saddling therefore occurs in a continuous and periodic fashion. This material when synthesized in a nanostructured form either as a nanotube or lower aspect-ratio possibly discontinuous form would have extremely high active surface area for the adsorption of H2 as a result of the saddling created via the incorporation of 17 at% B into a hexagonal lattice. Based upon our estimates, a volumetric energy density of 100 kg-H2/m3 is possible. This translates to an on board storage capacity for H2 sufficient to travel 300 miles which is conservatively 10 times greater than that possible today. In addition, a materials cost estimate of $75/kg scaled on the basis of yield from on-going exploratory work on C6B nanotubes compares favorably with the USA national 2005 and 2010 fuel storage targets of $200/kg and $133/kg, respectively.

The project is a collaborative industry-university research effort among experts in carbon/boron chemistry and synthesis (Jones and Lake as ASI), modeling of structure (Cormack), gas diffusion and chemisorption (Shelby) and microstructural analysis (Howe-ORNL). Alfred University (AU) is undertaking the study of C6B synthesis, measurement of H2 uptake and characterization as well as structure analysis via modeling. The Carbon Technology Group at Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL) is undertaking the characterization of the nanostructured materials via HREM and boron analysis via EELS. ORNL has proposed several unique characterization approaches to address light element analysis. ORNL will provide feedback to both the AU and Applied Sciences, Inc. (ASI) teams. Applied Sciences, Inc. (ASI) is taking on the role of key technical collaborator with an outlook toward scale up of the process in out years.

Expected Results:

The objective of this work is to synthesize boron-rich nanotubes of composition C6B for the purpose of an H2 storage medium. These novel boron-rich carbons provide a unique structure for the capture and use of H2. With this C6B material, it is expected that the number of defect sites will conservatively increase 10X as a result of the increase in number of atomic structural defects incorporated into C6B as compared to a carbon nanotube. Based upon this estimate, a volumetric energy density of 100 kg-H2/m3 is possible.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 1 publications for this subprojectView all 34 publications for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

fly ash, bottom ash, paper mill waste, characterization, porcelain, surface chemistry, physical properties, thermal expansion, dilatometry, spectrophotometry, modulus of rupture, density, apparent porosity, technology for sustainable environment, glass technology, sustainable industry/business,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, energy conservation, clean energy, cleaner production, sustainable development, clean technologies, environmental conscious construction, boron rich carbon, clean manufacturing, energy efficiency, energy technology, alternative fuel, alternative energy source

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2004 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R830420    Center for Environmental and Energy Research (CEER)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R828737C001 Environmental Impact of Fuel Cell Power Generation Systems
    R828737C002 Regional Economic and Material Flows
    R828737C003 Visualizing Growth and Sustainability of Water Resources
    R828737C004 Vibratory Residual Stress Relief and Modifications in Metals to Conserve Resources and Prevent Pollution
    R828737C005 Detecting and Quantifying the Evolution of Hazardous Air Pollutants Produced During High Temperature Manufacturing: A Focus on Batching of Nitrate Containing Glasses
    R828737C006 Sulfate and Nitrate Dynamics in the Canacadea Watershed
    R828737C007 Variations in Subsurface Denitrifying and Sulfate-Reducing Microbial Populations as a Result of Acid Precipitation
    R828737C008 Recycling Glass-Reinforced Thermoset Polymer Composite Materials
    R828737C009 Correlating Clay Mineralogy with Performance: Reducing Manufacturing Waste Through Improved Understanding
    R830420C001 Accelerated Hydrogen Diffusion Through Glass Microspheres: An Enabling Technology for a Hydrogen Economy
    R830420C002 Utilization of Paper Mill Waste in Ceramic Products
    R830420C003 Development of Passive Humidity-Control Materials
    R830420C004 Microarray System for Contaminated Water Analysis
    R830420C005 Material and Environmental Sustainability in Ceramic Processing
    R830420C006 Interaction of Sealing Glasses with Metallic Interconnects in Solid Oxide and Polymer Fuel Cells
    R830420C007 Preparation of Ceramic Glaze Waste for Recycling using Froth Flotation
    R830420C008 Elimination of Lead from Ceramic Glazes by Refractive Index Tailoring
    R830420C010 Nanostructured C6B: A Novel Boron Rich Carbon for H2 Storage