March 2009

Coal Combustion Products Market Analysis

In 2004, the United States produced over 122 million tons of coal combustion products, over 49 million tons of which were used constructively. This makes 2004 the first year in which over 40 percent of the CCPs from coal-fired power plants were effectively utilized. The market value of various coal combustion products is determined by several factors. These include the uses for which the properties of the material make it suitable, distance to the user, and the state and local specifications that determine which purposes are allowed.

Chemical & Physical Properties of Fly Ash

Fly ash is a fine, powdery material and by far the largest-volume coal combustion product. Its particles are spherical in shape, glassy, with a size similar to that of silt. The chemical make-up of fly ash depends primarily on the chemical properties of the coal burned, but also on the grinding equipment, furnace, combustion process, and nitrogen oxide control equipment used. The properties of fly ash are the key factor in determining its potential use in manufacturing and construction applications.

What Are Coal Combustion Products and How Are They Created?

Currently over half of the electricity produced in the United States is generated through burning coal. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency when coal is burned in a power plant to generate electricity, it leaves behind residues that can be used as products or raw materials, primarily in the construction industry. These materials are known as coal combustion products (CCPs) and include fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, and flue gas desulfurization gypsum.


American Coal Ash Association, Coal Ash: Innovative Applications of Coal Combustion Products (CCPs), 1998
American Coal Ash Association, 2004 data at http://
American Coal Ash Association. 1998. Innovative Applications of Coal Combustion Products (CCPs).
American Coal Ash Association. 2002. Annual Survey of Coal Combustion Products Production and Use.