The main characteristics of fly ash from Greek coal-fired boilers are presented in this paper in relation to its exploitation potential. Both fuel and fly ash samples were collected and analyzed according to the ASTM Standards. Apart from the typical analyses (proximate, ultimate, ash analysis and calorific value), an ICP-AES spectrometer was used for the analysis of heavy metals in the ash. Experimental measurements in order to determine the radioactivity content of raw fuel and the fly ash were carried out as well. A representative fly ash sample from Ptolemais power plant was evaluated and tested as filler in Self-Compacting Concrete (SCC).

Ashes from the Greek brown coal are classified in type C, most of the fly ash being produced in Ptolemais of Northern Greece, while the rest in Megalopolis. Ptolemais fly ash is rich in calcium compounds, while Megalopolis fly ash contains more pyrite.Increased heavy metal concentrations are observed in the fly ash samples of Greek coal. Greek fly ash appears to have not only pozzolanic but also hydraulic behaviour. Furthermore, Greek fly ash, depending on its origin, may have relatively high natural radioactivity content, reaching in the case of Megalopolis fly ash 1 kBq kg− 1 of 226Ra. The laboratory results showed that fly ashes can be a competitive substitute to conventional limestone filler material in SCC. Fly ash is mostly used in Greece in cement industry replacing cement clinker and aiming to the production of special types of Portland cements. However, a more aggressive utilisation strategy should be developed, since low quantities of the total produced fly ash are currently further utilised.

Keywords: Combustion residues, Chemical analysis, Radioactivity, Utilisation