The Gypsum Files

Notes on the Rock Nobody Knows

Posts Tagged ‘flue gas desulfurization

From power plant to corn field

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This short film from a Wisconsin energy company connects the dots between coal burning power plants, synthetic gypsum, and farmers.


via Agricultural gypsum – YouTube.


National Gypsum to close Shoals mine late this summer

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This is big news for the town of Shoals, Indiana, home to two gypsum plants:

National Gypsum, the second largest gypsum producer in the US, which runs the biggest gypsum mine in the world, will stop mining activities at Shoals mine in Indiana, where the plant will produce synthetic gypsum from flue gas desulphurisation FGD.
via National Gypsum will close one gypsum mine in the US | Industrial Minerals.

The plant will be adapted to use the synthetic gypsum, which is purer than mined gypsum, at a cost of around $15 million. The changeover will affect 21 miners.

(In case you’re curious, the “biggest gypsum mine in the world” is a quarry in Nova Scotia, which supplies rock for National Gypsum‘s East Coast plants.)

Geologists have noted the existence of gypsum in Southern Indiana since at least 1922. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that it was determined there was a substantial deposit of gypsum in Shoals worth mining. The front page of The Shoals News dated December 26, 1952, announced the news:


Written by Elizabeth McCullough

April 15, 2014 at 8:00 am

Cleaning up corrosive drywall and polluted air

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Scam warning

Today US senators from the states most affected by the corrosive drywall situation (Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia) urged the Federal Trade Commission to take steps to protect homeowners from opportunists offering false “cures” for their problems. In a letter to the FTC they said:

…as the issue has unfolded and the problem has become more widely publicized, more and more companies and individuals have come forward to announce and advertise “solutions” for homeowners. These “solutions” are generally in the form of testing procedures to identify Chinese drywall or remediation protocols that claim to completely remove the product from homes. Some companies have even advertised that they are part of a national certification program — despite the fact that the Federal government has yet to fully determine the exact substances in this defective product.

View the entire letter here (pdf).

Cleaner air = bigger landfill

This article from the New York Times website gives a good idea of the relationship between coal-burning power plants, landfills, the drywall industry, and housing prices. It’s complicated, but it reminds me of the truism that you can’t clean anything without getting something else dirty.


Written by Elizabeth McCullough

November 17, 2009 at 1:09 am

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