The combustion of pulverised coal in the furnace of a coal-fired power station boiler results in the production of a number of solid by-products, more accurately classified as CCP's (coal combustion products). This terminology reflects a more positive view and is in keeping with the concept of industrial ecology, being an approach that seeks to use one industry's by-product output as another industry's raw material inputs.
While the principal output from coal combustion is energy, significant quantities of by-products in the form of CCP's are also produced. In life cycle terms, the opportunities to exploit the low energy embodied in CCP's such as fly ash, furnace bottom ash, boiler slags and cenospheres are extensive.
Australian producers and marketers of power station ash formed the Ash Development Association of Australia (ADAA) with the objective of investigating and developing market opportunities for the use of these materials in various industry applications such as construction, agriculture and manufacturing.