Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Coal-fired Power Plant Fly Ash to High Efficiency, Low Cost Nitrogen Fertilizer (ST10459-1)

United Environment and Energy LLC


United Environment & Energy LLC (UEE) provides research, development, and commercialization of environmental and energy related technologies to the advanced materials and alternative fuels industries. UEE has developed a patent pending process for converting fly ash to high efficiency Nitrogen-fertilizer (N-fertilizer) by a one-step carbonitridation reaction. N-fertilzer is the primary fertilizer for farm fields during various stages of crop growth; 30-70% gets washed away, polluting streams and ground water. It uses natural gas as the primary feedstock and with the cost of natural gas increasing, fly ash, of which the majority produced is disposed of landfills, is suggested as a viable substitute.

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Project Description

The project demonstrated the use of high efficiency low cost N-fertilizer from recycled coal-fired power plant ash and verified the technical and commercial viability. The process is a one-step carbonitridation reaction in the presence of nitrogen gas flow. The heat needed for the process can be partially obtained from plant waste heat recovery and the raw materials needed are readily available at coal power plants. This process was validated in a 150g per batch lab reactor.


The nitrogen fertilizer produced from fly ash is water insoluble so it will not pollute the ground water, and it will reduce landfill disposal of the fly ash. Annual energy savings for New York State are estimated at 6 million MMBtu. The estimated impact on the State is $19 million in revenues with a gross profit of $8.4 million annually from manufacturing and sale of the nitrogen fertilizer made from fly ash. Job creation will be associated with the project.

Project Results

This demonstration project has been successfully completed, and the achievements met the original objectives. There were no heavy metals attributed to the fly ash fertilizer. The projected fly ash fertilizer production costs were $166 per ton, dramatically lower than the recent market price of approximately $382 per ton for the traditional nitrogen fertilizer. If all the fly ash produced in New York State is converted to fertilizer, the potential energy savings for New York State is 6 million MMBtu annually, equal to 5.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The projected energy savings per ton of fly ash fertilizer produced is 6.3 MMBtu. UEE plans to commercialize its technology by licensing or forming joint manufacturing ventures with coal-fired power plant operators or nitrogen fertilizer producers. Significant progress has been made in marketing and commercializing this technology. A license agreement has been entered into with one of the largest energy companies in the U.S.


United Environment and Energy LLC
111 Ridge Rd
Horseheads, NY 14845

Principle Investigator

Ben Wen

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Waste Management and Pollution Prevention
Materials recycling

NYSERDA Contact Information

Miriam Pye


R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10459-1

Last Updated: 7/30/2014