Toxic Coal Byproduct Made Into Lighter, Stronger Metal Foams

A toxic byproduct from coal plants has been used by researchers to make metal foams that are just as strong as aluminum, but lighter.

A team at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University used fly ash as an additive in metal foams designed to replace solid aluminum and magnesium in certain vehicle parts.

More than half of the 70 million tons of fly ash created by coal combustion a year ends up in landfills. Many cement companies have been using fly ash to make concrete stronger and with less cement.

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