Tech developed by NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram.

NTPC brought together nearly 75 entrepreneurs engaged in the use of fly ash for different applications to showcase the latest technique developed by NIIST.

V. Rishi Kumar

Hyderabad, July 2 More entrepreneurs are now getting into production of bricks and tiles using technology developed by National Institute of Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST), Thiruvananthapuram, according to NTPC officials.

Essentially, this technique uses nearly 80 per cent fly ash, 15 per cent clay and certain bonding material for hardening.

This is stronger, easier to make and lasts longer, according to Mr V.K. Mathur, Additional General Manager (Ash Utilisation Division), NTPC Ltd.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Mathur said production and use of building materials are undergoing a phenomenal change. This has brought to fore the need to use alternative materials to save natural resources. Fly ash, which is a by-product of coal-based thermal units, fits the bill.

NTPC brought together nearly 75 entrepreneurs engaged in use of fly ash for different applications to showcase the latest technique developed by NIIST. The bricks and tiles developed using this technique use a high quantity of fly ash, Mr S. Shanmugam, AGM at NTPC, said.

Increased awareness

With the Government mandating the use of fly ash in road projects developed by the National Highway Authority of India, and some major projects such as Delhi Metro Rail using it, there is increased awareness of use of fly ash.

Referring to use of fly ash, Mr Mathur said that NTPC utilised about 57 per cent that is about 24.4 million tonnes of ash during 2008-09. Last year was witness to use of about 10 million tonnes by the cement and concrete industry, reflecting a growth of about 15 per cent over the previous year.

Entrepreneurs gathered at NTPC shared some of the projects they are implementing and also the enthusiasm to try the new technique that uses high fly ash content. The focus was on fly brick making, ready mix concrete and cement units.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 3, 2009)
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