Coal Ash and Industrial Waste Remediation

In the last decade, the Group set its sight in being entrepreneurial and innovative to address the emerging environmental challenges faced by the globe, especially related to coal and coal ash. One of the greatest achievements of the Osho Group is environmental remediation of waste coal and its transformation into resourceful commodity. The group pioneered reclamation and export of waste coal from South Africa, which was one of the biggest environmental challenges facing the country a few years ago. Today this coal product developed from waste coal is traded on international indexes.

Coal Ash (CCR) remediation from coal fired power plants

The Issue

Combustion of coal produces fine solid particles of ash, dust and soot containing toxic elements like lead, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, silica, mercury, etc. all of which are hazardous to health. Fly ash is dumped as slurry in ash dumps, from which the toxic metals seep into the ground, severely contaminating the groundwater. Also, these toxic elements lower the soil fertility, harm the aquatic plants and disturb the food chain.

The Solution

The coal ash problem is solved with proven and patented Mycorrhiza Fungi technology. The fungi form a reciprocating relationship with the living roots by providing nutrition to plants from the substrate and receive carbon in turn from them. The mycelial network of the Mycorrhizal fungi accumulate heavy metal from fly ash and retain them in their living cells. In a short period of time, the grey, toxic fly ash laden waste land gets converted to that of green vegetation. The technology has been successfully replicated at various Thermal Power Stations across India. Osho Group is bringing this quick, cost effective and environmental friendly technology to United States to solve its large scale industrial waste and environmental problems.

Fly Ash Site Before
After Remediation

Osho Energy through TERI has full capability of solving United States’ one of the largest environmental problems of industrial wastes.


The Issue

The alkali chlor industry faces the problem of wasteland heavily laden with chlor alkali sludge. It is formed because of the alkaline- and chloride-rich sediments emanating from industrial discharge. The chemical waste is health hazard for communities and a burden on nature. The waste area also contaminates the low water table. The sites generally has extremely high pH (11.7) and electrical conductivity (74.4 mS/cm2) as compared to near neutral pH (7.0) and electrical conductivity (near 1mS/cm2) of normal soil. These values affected the availability of several important nutrients to plants.

The Solution

The problem is sorted by isolating microbes inhabiting the sites and screening their targeted functional properties. This is done because the microbes successfully withstand the onslaught of chemical sludge. As a parallel initiative, plant species that are tolerant to such conditions are selected and planted with selected microbial combinations with mycorrhiza in a specially designed landscape to overcome highly stressful substrate properties.

In the process, changes also take place in the quality of the sludge. This is made possible by the mycorrhizal biofertilizer- a group of naturally occurring fungi that provided tolerance and strength to the stressed flora. The biofertilizer enhances nutritional uptake enabling the plant to get phosphorus and nitrogen. As mycorrhizal fungi, due to their inherent properties, resist drought and harsh climatic conditions, they make the new foliage hardy enough to withstand a revival of the most adverse conditions.

Our technology and the introduction of beneficial microbes makes these sites. capable of bearing plants evidenced by the current presence of lush green plantation. TERI has received one award for this project.

Site Before

And Site After TERI’s intervention

Reclamation of inorganic sludge loaded site using TERI’s mycorrhizal technology.


Other Industrial Wastelands can be remediated using “Mycorrhizal” Technology:

  • Distillery effluent discharge site remediation
  • Phosphogypsum ponds remediation
  • Abandoned mines remediation
  • Red mud reclamation remediation

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