Flow behavior of impounded fly ash slurries using flow test

Nuzhath Fatema, Shobha K. Bhatia, Angelica M. Palomino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Coal ash is one of the largest industrial waste products generated in the United States. Since 1967, several failures in ash impoundments have been reported, releasing millions of gallons of impounded fly ash slurry and resulting in loss of life and mass environmental destruction. Several studies have been carried out to understand the flow behavior of fly ash slurries. However, several questions remain unanswered regarding the flow behavior of fly ash slurries after containment loss. In this study, a new flow test, a miniature version of a cylindrical slump test, was developed to investigate flow behavior of six different fly ash slurries. The flow behavior of these slurries was evaluated based on the yield stress derived from the flow test results. The results showed that some fly ash slurries flowed at higher solids content (>60 %), while others flowed at lower solids content (<50 %) and stopped flowing at higher solid content. Furthermore, some slurries did not flow at all. It was found that the chemical compositions of fly ash, the state of hydration (hydrated or non-hydrated), original solids content when received, and initial solids content of fly ash slurries at the start of the flow test played a major role in the flow behavior of fly ash slurries. The interactions between these factors were complex, and it was difficult to identify the effect of a single factor. Most of the fly ash slurries showed shear flow, and some slurries at high solids content showed elongational flow. The fly ash slurries with shear flow had larger flow areas after containment loss. The addition of an anionic polyacrylamide significantly increased the yield stress by 2.8 – 3.5 times and decreased the flow of fly ash slurries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126906
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • Flow behavior
  • Flow test
  • Fly ash
  • Hydrated
  • Non-hydrated
  • Slurry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Flow behavior of impounded fly ash slurries using flow test'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this