One important issue to enhance the power plant’s ecological value is to keep fuel supply routes short. This factor has been taken into account when the plant was erected near large woodlands. Ideally, the biomass comes from the region around the combined heat and power plant to avoid unnecessary carbon emissions associated with transport. The fuel delivered by both small and large scale suppliers comes from an area with a radius of some 30 miles around the power plant.
Decentralised power supply
The European Union’s idea is to increase the share of decentralised power supply from currently about 15 percent to 50 percent in the next 15 to 20 years. Irrespective of the energy carrier used, this is more environmentally compatible, causes less transmission losses and requires less high-voltage overhead lines which benefits the landscape. Especially in our rural area with its outstanding natural beauty where some major power consumers are located, the Altenstadt combined heat and power plant makes a substantial contribution to decentralisation.
Due to the technology used, two different types of ash are created by the Altenstadt combined heat and power plant which are distinguished mainly by their grain size range, constituents and cement-physical and chemical properties.
On the one hand, there is the combustion bed ash which as experience has shown contains a high share of stones and other mineral substances, which usually makes it an optimal supplement for the additives used in concrete production. Likewise, bottom ash is suitable for use in road construction as it contributes to optimising the backfill of pipes.
On the other hand, there is the filter ash which due to its grain size has a very large surface. After appropriate treatment, it can be used for land reclamation measures at former waste dump sites and depleted mines. Moreover, filter ash can be supplied to the concrete and bitumen industry for use as an additive.