A Greener Side to Concrete


July 9, 2015

Fly ash maximizes the technical, environmental, and economic benefits of concrete.  It allows concrete to be better for the environment by using a recyclable material while reducing the overall amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

There is an abundance of fly ash produced constantly around the world and fortunately, it is no longer just occupying space in landfills. Fly ash is a by-product of the coal burning process that, unlike bottom ash, is light enough to fly up the boiler and is nearly indistinguishable from volcanic ash. Thousands of years ago, volcanic ash was used as a natural cement to build ancient structures.  

Today, fly ash is commonly used as a complement to traditional cement.  Not only does using fly ash in Portland cement excel at tackling the challenge of waste management,  it also greatly reduces the carbon footprint of cementitious structures.  This makes it a much greener approach to producing concrete because it saves the Earth’s atmosphere by eliminating an enormous amount of carbon dioxide that traditional cement releases.  Fly ash is also being used independently as a complete alternative to cement but this practice is still fairly limited.  

Other benefits of fly ash include:

  • A less porous concrete mixture which increases strength
  • Resilience to corrosion
  • Reductions of heat during concrete placement, making it a necessary component of mass concrete pours
  • It is more affordable compared to cement

CTLGroup can run any necessary testing to qualify fly ash for use in concrete and certify that it meets various global specifications. CTLGroup also preforms mix design optimization tests so client gets the best concrete mix, while optimizing production conditions and creating more-environmentally conscious products. CTLGroup possesses a suite of capabilities and expertise that adds value to the fly ash's use in many products, which differentiates CTLGroup from other consulting firms. 

For more information on CTLGroup's fly ash services contact: Scott Nettles, Chemist III