Fly Ash Market – Snapshot
Fly ash, also known as pulverized fuel ash, is a byproduct obtained from coal-fired electric power plants. Mineral impurities in coal (such as quartz, feldspar, clay, and shale) fuse in the suspension and float out of the combustion chamber as waste gases during the power generation process. These gases get solidified into orbicular particles upon cooling. These particles are known as fly ash. Fly ash is widely employed as a superior substitute for Portland cement in the construction industry. When added to concrete, fly ash improves strength, ease of pumping of concrete, and segregation.
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These advantages of fly ash over Portland cement make it a preferred material for construction activities. Cement and concrete used in construction activities is one of the major applications of fly ash. The fly ash market is expected to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period owing to the increase in construction activities in different regions and several initiatives taken by government authorities to promote the utilization of fly ash.
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In terms of application, the cement & concrete segment is anticipated to expand significantly during the forecast period, due to the rise in the demand for sustainable construction materials and increase in construction output in developing countries. Fly ash typically replaces around 20% to 30% of the total Portland cement used in construction activities. The need for infrastructure has been increasing at significant pace since the last few years due to the rapid growth in global population. This has led to an increase in construction activities throughout the globe. Furthermore, developing countries such as China and India are experiencing substantial industrial, economic, and infrastructural development. Fly ash is extensively used in the construction industry as an environmentally-sustainable substitute for Portland cement. It is also employed to enhance the overall performance of ready-mix concrete. Furthermore, fly ash is used in the manufacture of bricks and blocks in the construction industry. It is also used in road construction. Fly ash is also employed in sectors such as mining, water treatment, and agriculture. Rise in demand for fly ash in these end-use industries is anticipated to fuel the global fly ash market. The structural fills segment is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period, led by the increase in usage of fly ash for highway embankment across the globe.
Fly ash is used widely in the construction industry in developed countries. However, lack of global awareness about the benefits of using fly ash as construction material is hampering the fly ash market. For instance, lack of awareness about potential uses of fly ash as construction material or as soil stabilizer in the agriculture sector is adversely affecting the global fly ash market. Increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the world is a major factor responsible for global warming. Thermal power generation accounts for prominent share of the global carbon dioxide emissions. Regulatory bodies in developed regions such as Europe and North America are seeking renewable, environmentally sustainable alternatives for producing power as a measure to control CO2 emissions. This is estimated to negatively impact the overall production of fly ash. These factors are projected to restrain the fly ash market during the forecast period.
The fly ash market has been segmented based on type, application, and region. Based on type, the fly ash market has been bifurcated into class C and class F. In terms of revenue, the class F segment held major share of the fly ash market in 2017. Based on application, the fly ash market has been divided into cement & concrete, structural fills, mining waste stabilization, road constructions, and others. In terms of revenue and volume, the cement & concrete segment constituted significant share of the market in 2017, and is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period.
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