Ash Handling Cranes and Hoist Systems

Specializing in cranes and hoist systems for a wide range of industries, American Crane and Equipment Corporation is proud to provide reliable, high-quality material handling solutions — from aerospace and energy to pulp and paper, and waste management.

We also offer high-performance ash handling solutions for power plants, coal combustion, and wood processing applications. The success of ash handling systems depends on the quality of the hoists used, which must provide unmatched reliability, corrosion resistance, and longevity.

What Are Ash Handling Systems?

The combustion of wood, coal, and even grain creates ash. Ash handling systems are specifically designed to manage the collection, conveying, storage, and loading of ash residue, much of which is the result of solid fuel combustion processes in power plants. The most common types of ash are as follows:

  • Bottom ash — Heavier, coarse ash material
  • Fly ash — Very fine ash that accounts for most of the material managed by ash handling systems
  • Ash clinkers — The ash that sticks to a coal furnace’s hot side walls

The United States produces more than 100 million tons of fly ash every year. Nearly half of this ash is reused for other purposes, such as cement production but, first, it must be properly collected and contained.

Why Are Ash Handling Systems Important?

EPA regulations state that ash handling systems are mandatory for certain industries and types of manufacturing facilities. If handled incorrectly, ash can pose dangers to both the environment and general public health.

Coal ash contains mercury, arsenic, and cadmium; these contaminants are dangerous and can pollute ground water, drinking water, natural and manmade waterways, and the air we breathe.

Ash Handling Industries and Applications

Because wood and coal combustion produce different types of residual ash through energy and heat generation, these processes — especially common in power plants — require reliable ash handling systems to manage day-to-day operations.

For example, thermal power plants produce coal combustion residuals (CCRs). Able to be generated both wet and dry, this type of ash must be managed through disposal in off-site or on-site plant landfills or surface impoundments. Highly toxic to water quality, CCRs are strictly regulated by the EPA.

Coal ash is also produced during the commercial manufacture of concrete and composite wallboard. Whether the ash will be repurposed or disposed of, plants must be fully equipped with collection systems for fly ash and dust. These systems require periodic emptying for optimal performance.

Wood combustion, meanwhile, produces extremely lightweight ash, carrying less than 1% of the original wood’s weight. After wood fuel is burned, combustion chambers inevitably hold some of this ash, whether from raw wood, processed wood products, or wood pellets. Containing extremely low levels of sulfur and heavy metals, this ash is not as harmful to the environment as CCRs.

Ash Handling Solutions from American Crane

With over 45 years of crane experience exceeding CMAA duty cycle requirements, the American Crane team can readily customize hoists and lifting equipment for the preparation and handling of ash and CCRs. We offer full design and fabrication services, as well as a comprehensive in-house quality assurance program. From ¼-ton hoists to equipment with 1,000+ tons of overhead lifting capacity, our material handling solutions can be crafted to meet service classifications A through F.

We’re proud to offer high-quality, long-lasting hoists manufactured by us and also various trusted brands, including Budgit, Coffing, CM, Yale, Shaw-box, and Chester. To learn more about our ash handling industry products, services, and custom lifting solutions, reach out to our crane experts today.