Program: Collaborative Research for Common Regional Issues (CRC)

Field: Environmental Engineering

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Michael Angelo B. Promentilla

Sending University: De La Salle University (DLSU)

Japanese Co-Investigator: Prof. Dr. Hirofumi HINODE

Japanese University: Tokyo Institute of Technology

Year: 2014


The research project is about developing ways to use coal ash produced by coal-fired power plant to recover valuable metals through bioleaching, and as raw materials for geopolymer production. Coal ash management is a common regional issues in ASEAN region as disposal of huge amount of such waste becomes an alarming problem. Bioleaching of coal ash can be viewed as a kind of mining and recovery of metals like copper, zinc, among others with the aid of microorganisms. The objective of the bioleaching study of coal ash is to determine its feasibility and the optimal condition to extract these metals including those potentially toxic metals from coal ash. In addition, coal ash is also used to produce an eco-friendly material such as geopolymer, which could potentially has lower carbon footprint and embodied energy in comparison to Portland cement-based materials. Recent findings from this project suggest the viability of bioleaching and geopolymer technology as sustainable solutions to manage coal ash and reduce its impact to the environment. It strengtthen my collaborative research network with TIT, Japan and HMUT, Vietnam 1 MS student graduated, 1 MS student and 2 PhD students will graduate in 2016 The technology being developed for coal ash utilization could be used solve the problem of coalfired industry in managing this byproduct or waste and at the same time, could add value to coal ash that can benefit the local community and the society at large.