With the publication of the UKQAA Ash Availability Report today, it’s clear the ash industry – and the wider construction and engineering sectors – have significant opportunities ahead. Not only has supply and demand for coal ash as a beneficial addition to construction products and materials been consistent, but research and development into its use are also driving innovation and technical ambition.
Based on production and usage data from coal-fired power stations between 1999 and 2014, the UKQAA Ash Availability Report highlights important trends in ash availability and uptake. From steady production, to increasingly varied applications, the figures show that the ash industry has a diverse supply stream and strong potential in the alternative, low-carbon materials market.
Set in the context of ongoing growth in the construction and engineering sectors which is affected by increased pressure on supply chains, materials shortages and stringent environmental targets, this report shows an excellent opportunity for the producers and users to exploit all sources of coal ash.
Fly ash and furnace bottom ash are high-performance materials which are resource efficient to extract and manufacture. Both by products have low levels of embodied carbon and can significantly improve the environmental performance of construction products.
While these benefits are clear and the market for alternative materials is widening, the challenge now is to make sure they are fully realised.