New Technology Pilot Plant for recovery of high value minerals from Fly Ash


Dr VK Saraswat, full time member of Niti Aayog, Government of India and former Director General – DRDO and Secretary Department of Defence R & D, today inaugurated the Pilot Plant involving a pathbreaking technology at the premises of Star Trace Private Limited, at Red Hills, Chennai (STPL). This plant incorporates a cost-effective technology for reducing the volume of waste and recovering high value minerals, viz., aluminium oxide and iron oxide, major and minor elements including barium (806 ppm), beryllium (5 ppm), boron (311ppm), cadmium (3.4 ppm), chromium (136 ppm), chromium VI (90 ppm), cobalt (35.9 ppm), copper (112 ppm),manganese (250ppm), nickel (77.6 ppm), selenium (7.7 ppm), strontium (775 ppm), thallium (9ppm), vanadium (252 ppm), and zinc (178 ppm). This technology involves physical separation of these minerals as well as toxic materials from the fly ash in the coal-based power plants and other coal using plants.

Appreciating the efforts of STPL, Dr Saraswat said that technologies like this for recovering wealth from waste are very welcome and go a long way in helping the already suffering environment. STPL is a committee member of NITI AAYOG and its CMD Sh P R Maheswaran thanked the Dr VK Saraswat who extended all support for the R & D for this technology involving utilization of laboratory and research facilities under NITI AAYOG.He also highlighted the fact that STPL had provided proprietary technology for Waste to Wealth Generation to M/s Hindustan Copper Limited in their Malanjkhand Copper Ore Tailing Plant with a capex of Rs. 250 Crs., and the same was appreciated by HCL CMD Sh Santosh Sharma. The plant would treat copper ore tailing, considered as waste, to generate precious metals, including 900 grams of gold, 11 kg of silver and 4,500 tonnes of silica every day.

This move, part of HCL’s strategy to be environment friendly while hedging its risks beyond copper, is likely to generate additional annual revenues of up to Rs 60 crore for the company. Mr Maheswaran also mentioned that STPL, on award of O & M for this plant, would benefit more than 10000 persons directly and indirectly through the supply chain associated with this Project. He concluded by stating that there is a clear need for the current approach of waste disposal in India that is focused on uses of high energy/high technology, to move more towards waste processing (that involves public-private partnerships, aiming for eventual waste minimization – driven at the industrial level, and using low energy/low technology resources which STPL provide as pioneers in Waste to Wealth. Sh R Saravanabhavan, Deputy Advisor (Minerals), NITI Aayog and Sh S K Pathak, DGM, NTPC, were also present during the occasion.


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