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.
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When added to concrete, fly ash improves strength, ease of pumping of concrete, and segregation. 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.
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.
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Based on region, the global fly ash market has been classified into Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Asia Pacific dominated the global fly ash market in 2017. This trend is estimated to continue during the forecast period. The region is projected to create lucrative opportunities for the fly ash market in the near future. China is likely to dominate the market in Asia Pacific, led by the increase in construction activities in the country. Furthermore, India contributes significantly to the fly ash market in Asia Pacific. Expansion in the fly ash market in Asia Pacific can also be ascribed to the high growth potential of the market in India, Japan, and ASEAN. The cement & concrete segment is a major consumer of fly ash in Asia Pacific.
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