Photo: Sitra

Published May 15, 2019

Fertilisers for tree farming and earthwork products from power plant ash

By burning biomass, coal and peat, the Finnish energy industry produces approximately 1.5 million tonnes of ash. Ecolan uses this ash to process tree fertilisers of consistent quality or earthwork materials.

Problem

Annually, the energy industry produces approximately 1.5 million tonnes of ash, a significant part of which goes unused. The properties of ash of varying quality have not yet been fully identified, which is why ash fractions cannot be used in the best possible manner. Ash often ends up in landfills, which turns this valuable raw material into waste.

Solution: fertilisers for tree farming and earthwork products from power plant ash

Ecolan receives ash from power plants, analyses the properties of the ash and, according to the properties discovered, directs it for use as a raw material either for tree fertilisers or earthwork products. This way the properties of the ash can be used to the maximum, and ash provides a valuable raw material for suitable purposes. As final products, the company produces Ecolan Silva fertilisers for tree farming and Ecolan Infra TR recovered materials for replacing virgin aggregates in infrastructure construction.

Ecolan’s revenue logic and benefits

Ash producers pay a reception fee to Ecolan for collecting the ash, after which Ecolan reprocesses it into tree fertilisers or earthwork products and sells these on. Ecolan takes care of the appropriate reprocessing of the ash on the customers’ behalf instead of taking it to a landfill site. Ecolan uses the ash to make products that bring added value to their users compared to unprocessed ash through such properties as better usability and consistent quality.

Benefits to customers and end users

Ash producers can direct their waste ash for reuse and thus avoid the waste tax they would have to pay for taking it to a landfill site. Final users receive products of consistent quality, processed in accordance with the principles of the circular economy, with a smaller carbon footprint than other similar products. Furthermore, as a tree fertiliser for instance, Ecolan’s products are also economically priced.

Facts

Ecolan Oy in a nutshell

Main business: Forest management

Year of foundation: 1995

Turnover: €1-50 million

Launch of circular economy solution: 2018

Share of the circular economy solution of the total business: n/a

Employees: 10-250

Based: Viitasaari

Website: www.ecolan.fi

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