Ash Handling Pumps

An ash handling pump is a specialized piece of equipment used in power plants, particularly those that burn coal, to manage the byproducts of combustion, specifically ash. There are two main types of ash produced: bottom ash and fly ash. These byproducts need to be collected, transported, and disposed of in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner.

Types of Ash Handling Pumps

  1. Hydraulic Ash Handling Pumps:
    • Slurry Pumps: These pumps handle ash in the form of slurry, which is a mixture of ash and water. The slurry is transported through pipelines to disposal areas such as ash ponds or landfills.
    • Centrifugal Pumps: These are commonly used for handling ash slurry due to their ability to handle abrasive materials and high flow rates.
  2. Pneumatic Ash Handling Pumps:
    • Vacuum Systems: These systems use vacuum pumps to convey dry ash from the collection point to storage silos or disposal areas.
    • Pressure Systems: These systems use compressed air to push dry ash through pipelines.

Components and Operation

  • Pump Housing: Contains the pump mechanism and is designed to withstand the abrasive nature of ash.
  • Impellers or Rotors: These components move the ash-laden water (in hydraulic systems) or dry ash (in pneumatic systems) through the pump.
  • Pipelines: Transport the ash slurry or dry ash to storage or disposal sites.
  • Control Systems: Manage the operation of the pump, ensuring efficient and safe handling of ash.


  • Coal-fired Power Plants: The primary users of ash handling pumps, as they generate significant amounts of ash during the combustion of coal.
  • Incineration Plants: Facilities that burn waste materials also produce ash that needs to be handled.
  • Industrial Boilers: Various industries that use boilers for energy production may also require ash handling systems.


  • Efficiency: Proper ash handling systems ensure the smooth operation of power plants by preventing ash build-up.
  • Environmental Compliance: Helps in managing ash disposal in an environmentally friendly manner, complying with regulations.
  • Safety: Reduces the risk of ash-related hazards, such as respiratory issues for workers and potential environmental contamination.


  • Regular Inspection: Essential to check for wear and tear due to the abrasive nature of ash.
  • Replacement of Worn Parts: Timely replacement of impellers, seals, and other parts to ensure continuous operation.
  • System Cleaning: Periodic cleaning to prevent clogging and maintain efficiency.

In summary, an ash handling pump is crucial in power plants and other industries that produce ash as a byproduct. It ensures efficient, safe, and environmentally compliant management of ash, contributing to the overall effectiveness of the plant’s operation.