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Fly Ash Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Class F and Class C), By Application (Cement & Concretes, Fills & Embankments, Waste Stabilization, Mining, Oilfield Service, Road Stabilization, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated :April 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101087

 

KEY MARKET INSIGHTS

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The global fly ash market size was valued at USD 13.24 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 14.02 billion in 2024 to USD 23.19 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.4% during the forecast period.


Fly or flue ash is a fine substance that flies from coal combustion chambers and is captured by emission control equipment such as scrubbers and electrostatic precipitators or fabric filters. A very large amount of ash is produced from various thermal power plants and its disposal has become one of the major environmental challenges. A few years back, flue ash was generated by burning coal-fired power plants and the material is considered of very low value and was only useful for landfilling. Its usefulness in cement has become an important discovery as it is used as a pozzolanic additive in cement. In the U.S., more than half of the concrete produced today uses coal ash in some quantity as a substitute for traditional material.


The COVID-19 pandemic had an adverse effect on the market, primarily due to disrupted supply chains, decreased construction activity, and economic uncertainty. Lockdown restrictions and subsequent construction slowdowns reduced the product demand. Economic uncertainty impacted investment decisions and infrastructure projects, limiting the product demand. However, amidst these challenges, there has been a growing emphasis on sustainability, presenting opportunities for the product to be used as a supplementary material while preparing the concrete mix.


Fly Ash Market Trends


Rising Ash Utilization in Ceramics to Aid the Market Growth


Fly ash is made up of oxides, such as Al2O3, SiO2, CaO, and Fe2O3 and gained attention from the manufacturers of low-cost materials such as glass-ceramics, ceramics, and glass materials. The basic phase of manufacturing is the temperature activation of raw carbon ash with various temperatures and co-reagents directing the final form of glass or ceramics. To manufacture ceramic tiles, flue ash is used in 60:40 ratios with kaolin clay. Carbon ash mixed with high CaO and lower particle size would decrease the firing shrinkage in ceramics. The usage of ceramic tiles increases the ash utilization and reduces the landfill and the cost of raw materials in the tiles industry. 


Renovation and replacement activities due to the rise in spending capacity are surging the demand for ceramic products, generating a growth opportunity for the market. Consumers from North America and European countries are spending hefty sums on ceramic tiles with functionality such as scratch resistance, slip-in resistance, and anti-bacterial. The rise in demand for ceramic tiles for applications in innovative interior décor is estimated to surge the product consumption.


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Fly Ash Market Growth Factors


Increasing Demand for Flue Ash in the Construction Industry to Drive Market Expansion


Ash is majorly used in Portland pozzolana cement and the manufacturing of bricks. Apart from the conservation of soil, it does not emit greenhouse gases during the production process and also has environmental benefits. The task of promoting this ash in construction materials is undertaken by various stakeholders, including government departments and ministries and academic and R&D institutions. In India, the responsibility for the formulation and implementation of policies and schemes is taken by the central and state governments of India. Government buildings such as banks and financial institutes, research institutes, technology service providers, private builders and government departments and civil society organizations use coal ash in their construction materials to promote the growth in construction applications.


Moreover, the growing commercialization is driving cement consumption for infrastructure construction supported by economic development. The rising need for non-residential establishments, such as malls, airports, roads, office buildings, industries & production plants, and warehouses, will support the market growth. Additionally, the gradual rise in disposable income has surged the trend for improving home and office aesthetics, thereby surging the demand for precast products such as blocks, panels, roof tiles, and others. The use of these products makes the structure more appealing and homely. This led to a rise in demand for the manufacturing of precast products.


In addition to this, flue ash is utilized in road construction projects as a stabilizing agent for sub-grade and base materials. It improves the engineering properties of soil, such as bearing capabilities and workability, leading to the construction of stable and durable roads. Utilizing flue ash in construction reduces the need for disposal in landfills, thereby decreasing environmental impact and conserving valuable landfill space. With growing awareness of environmental sustainability, stakeholders in the road construction industry are increasingly seeking eco-friendly materials. Increasing adoption of stringent environmental regulations and policies further incentivizes the product use as a sustainable alternative in road and infrastructure construction. Thus, rising demand for infrastructure development projects, along with an increased focus on sustainability initiatives, is expected to benefit and drive the market growth.


RESTRAINING FACTORS


Poor Ash Quality to Hamper the Market Growth


Quality is important and it can have a negative effect on the concrete industry. The primary advantage of good quality ash is reduced permeability at a lower cost. Conversely, the poor quality can lead to an increase in permeability. Ash, which is produced in the power plant, is compatible with concrete, but some cannot be improved sufficiently for the use in concrete. Moreover, high carbon ash materials tend to use more water and could darken the concrete as well. Usage of high carbon content ash is recommended with the usage of an air-entraining agent, which increases the cost.


Decreasing the use of thermal power in the energy mix will portray another restraint for the market. The major source of fly ash is coal-fired power plants, wherein the product is obtained as a residue. With the rising level of pollution, greenhouse gases, and carbon emission associated with the fossil-fuel-based power plants, governments and companies have started to rely more on non-conventional or green sources of energy to reduce the environmental impact. The production of coal in the U.S., Europe, and India is declining as these countries are investing heavily in the development of infrastructure for renewable energy sources. All these factors result in steep maintenance costs for these systems, which has become a key challenge for the growth of the market.


Fly Ash Market Segmentation Analysis


By Type Analysis


Class F Segment Accounted for the Largest Share Owing to Higher Product Adoption


Based on type, the market is classified into class F and class C. Class F ash originates from anthracite and bituminous coals. It consists mainly of alumina and silica and has lower calcium content as compared to class C. In Portland cement, class F ash is used as a replacement with 20-30% of cementitious materials. When class F ash is used, it offers advantages such as increase in compressive strength, resistance to sulfate attack and alkali-silica reaction, less heat generation, and decreased water demand.


The Class C ash mainly consists of tricalcium aluminate, calcium alumino-sulfate glass, quartz, and free lime (CaO). It typically contains more than 20% of CaO and is referred to as high calcium fly ash. Class C ash is mostly used in the concrete foundation to control the temperature rise.


By Application Analysis


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Wide Acceptance in Cement & Concrete Industries to Boost Growth of the Segment


Based on application, the market is segmented into cement & concretes, fills & embankments, waste stabilization, mining, oilfield service, road stabilization, and others. The cement & concretes segment holds the largest fly ash market share in the global market. The ash is widely used in cement application as the construction sector is registering healthy growth and the demand for cement is increasing at a fast pace. The usage of cement concrete has many benefits and improves the concrete performance in both fresh and hardened states. Ash used in concrete improves the workability of plastic concrete, durability, and strength of hardened concrete.


Coal ash is usually used as fill material for embankment construction applications or for mixing with murum sand to improve its properties. With a faster rate of consolidation, a major part of the decrease in volume occurs during the primary consolidation phase, which is generated rapidly, making ash an ideal material for fill embankments. Flue ash is used for the stabilization or solidification of waste to reduce the leachability of the fly ash. Stabilization immobilizes the hazardous materials or reduces their solubility through appropriate chemical reactions. Bricks and blocks made from ash are excellent products for the construction of stoppings in underground mines. This ash can also be used for leveling overburden dumps produced during the opencast mining activities. Blends of Portland cement and ash are widely used in the oilfield industry. The addition of cement slurries improves compressive strength, reduces cement permeability and allows lower density slurries while maintaining good mechanical properties. Mechanical road stabilization includes compaction, blending of aggregates to improve gradation and addition of asphalt. Pulverized fuel ash is used as a mineral aggregate with asphalt binder to make asphalt concrete commonly used to surface roads. The other applications include thermoplastics, geopolymers, catalysts, and metal matrix composites. The expansion of this segment is associated with the rising number of industrialization and infrastructure development activities in the growing economies.


REGIONAL INSIGHTS


Asia Pacific Fly Ash Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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The market size in Asia Pacific was valued at USD 10.06 billion in 2023. In 2023, Asia Pacific occupied a dominant share in the global market. China holds the major share in the regional market, backed by higher demand from the cement industry. China and India globally are the leading manufacturers of cement and cement products. The region is experiencing high demand for cement due to rapid expansion of the building & construction industry. Additionally, both the countries are major exporters of cement globally. South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asian countries are significantly contributing to the market growth. Key factors such as changing demographics, increasing disposable income in emerging and highly populated countries, and urbanization activities are fueling the fly ash market growth.


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In Europe, coal ash produced is used in the construction industry, civil engineering, and as construction materials in underground mining or for restoration of open cast mines, quarries, and pits, and for infill of mine shafts and subsurface mine workings. The utilization across European countries is different and mainly based on national experience and tradition. According to the European Coal Combustion Products Association (ECOBA), a significant amount of flue ash is used in concrete addition, blended cement, cement raw materials, road construction, concrete blocks, and other applications. Numerous studies have reported the possible application of fly ash in the production of cement and concrete, roads and embankments, mineral fillers in mixed asphalt, lightweight aggregate, bricks, geopolymers, mine backfilling, environmental applications, rare earth elements acquiring, and agriculture.


North America is a well-established market. Rising demand from applications, such as waste management and precast concrete products, is creating lucrative opportunities for manufacturers to gain a competitive edge in this market. The primary driving factor for the market in the U.S. is the rising demand from the cement & concrete industry for applications in precast concrete products. The region is the most technologically modern in the construction industry and the new rising trend of sustainable and time-efficient construction practices will substantially surge the demand for precast products.


In Latin America, fly ash finds applications in agriculture soil restoration or stabilization and wastewater management. Rapid development is observed in the agriculture industry due to the most favorable weather conditions, which leads to higher crop rotation. This causes soil erosion and degradation. Ash can be used to improve the coarse-textured soils and increase the soil moisture-holding capacity, which is helpful in increasing plant growth.


In the Middle East & Africa, the market is projected to have significant growth due to rising application in mining and oilfield industries. The region consists of rich oil-producing and mining countries that have doubled the demand in the past few years and are expected to continue during the forecast period. The addition of coal ash in cement slurries improves compressive strength and sulfate resistance, reduces cement permeability, and allows lower density slurries while maintaining good mechanical properties. The use of the flue ash in Portland cement allows higher properties while also meeting regulatory requirements, thereby causing high demand in the oilfield industry for oil well cement.


List of Key Companies in Fly Ash Market


Acquisitions and Mergers are the Main Strategies Adopted by Leading Operating Players


The competitive landscape depicts a consolidated market with the top 10 companies accounting for about 50% of the global market revenue. Key players in the market have invested a considerable amount of resources in the research & development of several ash products. A product portfolio, supported by superior operational efficiency, and safe & novel technology development for composites application are the strategies used by market leaders for their growth. Furthermore, small & medium-scale companies have adapted the strategy of mergers and partnerships with larger enterprises to improve their offering portfolio and other related services. The trend is projected to positively impact the global market during the forecast period as smaller companies can gain a lot from the experience of the market leaders.


LIST OF KEY COMPANIES PROFILED:



KEY INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS:



  • February 2022 – Boral completed the sale of its North American fly ash business to Eco Material Technologies Inc. for a total sum of USD 755 million. According to the official statement from Boral executives, the transaction aligned with the company’s goal to realign and strategically refocus its attention on its construction material business in Australia.

  • November 2021 – Geocycle, a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim US, received the first delivery of 2,000 tons of coal flue ash from CenterPoint Energy. They formed a 6 million tons multi-year coal ash recycling contract to create a circular economy for power plants. LafargeHolcim uses the recycled ash in the production of cements.

  • November 2021 –  Charah Solutions formed a five-year sales and marketing contract with Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. (AECI), a power generation and transmission cooperative, for the sustainable recycling of fly ash, bottom ash, and boiler slag from AECI’s Thomas Hill Energy Center. Charah Solutions will be responsible for the beneficiation and utilization of approximately 150,000 tons of specification grade Class C ash, non-spec Class C ash, bottom ash, and boiler slag per year through 2026. 

  • September 2021 – Charah Solutions formed a five-year marketing and sales contract for the beneficial recycling of fly ash from the Gavin Power Plant in Cheshire, Ohio. As part of this agreement, Charah Solutions would be responsible for the sales and environment-friendly recycling of approximately 35,000 – 60,000 tons of specification grade Class F ash per year from this facility through 2025.

  • April 2021 – Charah Solutions shared plans to provide fly ash sales and material handling operations for Luminant’s Miami Fort Power Plant and Zimmer Power Plant in southern Ohio through 2027, when both plants are expected to be retired. Approximately 400,000 tons of ash per year from both sites will be recycled and sold for beneficial use in Portland cement.


REPORT COVERAGE


An Infographic Representation of Fly Ash Market

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The research report provides both qualitative and quantitative insights on fly ash across the globe. Quantitative insights include market sizing in terms of value (USD billion) and volume (kilo tons) across each segment, sub-segment, and region profiled in the scope of study. Also, it provides market analysis and growth rates of segment, sub-segment, and key counties across each region. The qualitative insights cover an elaborative analysis of key market drivers, restraints, growth opportunities, and industry trends related to the market. The competitive landscape section covers a detailed company profiling of the key players operating in the industry.


Report Scope & Segmentation
















































ATTRIBUTE



DETAILS



Study Period



2019-2032



Base Year



2023



Estimated Year



2024



Forecast Period



2024-2032



Historical Period



2019-2022



Growth Rate



CAGR of 6.4% from 2024-2032



Unit



Volume (Kiloton), Value (USD Billion)



Segmentation



By Type



  • Class F

  • Class C



By Application



  • Cement & Concretes

  • Fills & Embankments

  • Waste Stabilization

  • Mining

  • Oilfield Service

  • Road Stabilization

  • Others



By Geography



  • North America (By Type, By Application, By Country)


    • U.S. (By Type)

    • Canada (By Type)


  • Europe (By Type, By Application, By Country)


    • Germany (By Type)

    • U.K. (By Type)

    • France (By Type)

    • Italy (By Type)

    • The Netherlands (By Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type)


  • Asia Pacific (By Type, By Application, By Country)


    • China (By Type)

    • India (By Type)

    • Japan (By Type)

    • South Korea (By Type)

    • ASEAN (By Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)


  • Latin America (By Type, By Application, By Country)


    • Brazil (By Type)

    • Mexico (By Type)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Type)


  • Middle East & Africa (By Type, By Application, By Country)


    • GCC (By Type)

    • South Africa (By Type)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Type)







Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was valued at USD 13.24 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 23.19 billion by 2032.

Growing at a CAGR of 6.4%, the market will exhibit steady growth over the forecast period.

The Class F segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period.

The increasing demand for cement and concrete applications is the key driver of the market.

Asia Pacific dominated the global market share in 2023.

Boral Ltd., Cemex S.A.B. De C.V., and LafargeHolcim Ltd. are a few of the leading players in the market.

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