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Do you know the value of your Bottom Ash?

Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities, often referred to as Waste to Energy plants, are extremely useful in the production of energy in the modern world. 

Not only do these power plants help reduce both the volume of waste and sanitation issues associated with it, but they also give purpose to non-recyclables by allowing us to recover over 90% of energy from our waste materials. Not to mention the environmental benefits of incineration when compared to waste going to landfill, making it a valuable part of the drive towards a Circular Economy.

It should be noted though that there is further value to be found from EfWs within the waste product left behind from the incineration, which is sometimes referred to as ‘Bottom Ash’ or ‘Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA)’.

The inert, non-combustible byproduct of the incineration process offers many uses that could provide you with extra revenue, such as:

Precious Metals

When we burn waste, the ash left behind can contain from 1.00% to 5.00% non-ferrous metals, including Gold, Silver, Palladium, Copper, Lead and Zinc. Whilst these levels may seem miniscule in the grand scheme of things, these metals are sought after by smelters and can be recovered fairly easily from the compound, making this a valuable asset.

Click here for more information on recovering heavy non-ferrous metals from your bottom ash.

Ferrous Metals

Ferrous metals can be easily extracted from the bottom ash through use of a magnet. This normally accounts for around 10% of the overall IBA composition and is extremely valuable to the construction industry.


The rest of the byproduct of incineration holds further purpose too. The remainder of the raw material left over can be used as a replacement for virgin materials such as sand or aggregates when producing concrete blocks or even road surfacing.

Click here to read more about IBA and its use as an aggregate.

Understanding the value of your bottom ash

Chemical analysis of your IBA can provide you with a better understanding of the potential value of your bottom ash, whilst compositional analysis of your waste stream can provide you with clarity on the levels of metals and minerals going into your EfW facility as an input. 

This scope of services can help you to build a reliable profile of the expected output material left over from your incineration process and therefore enable you to plan what you do with this in the future – providing an extra revenue stream.

Alfred H Knight is fully equipped to sample and assay IBA streams for commercial settlement. We are proud to work ambitiously as part of a Circular Economy and our expert technicians are able to deliver accurate and transparent results globally from our UKAS accredited laboratories.

How can Alfred H Knight help?

With over 140 years of experience in the provision of independent analysis and inspection services to the metals, minerals and solid fuels industry – we have a well-earned reputation for our knowledge and professionalism in all aspects of weighing, sampling and analysis.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team regarding your IBA, you can do so by following the link below and completing the quick and easy contact form.