CalStar Products recently introduced a fly ash brick and fly ash paver that’s been getting major attention in the industry.  The innovative fly ash products are behind the company’s attention in the Wall Street Journal and finalist nomination for the Crunchies in the Best Cleantech category.  They’re made from 40% fly ash and 60% local aggregates, together with some proprietary ingredients.

The fly ash products are not formed with Portland cement or energy-intense firing, resulting in substantial savings in carbon impact terms.

CalStar claims the bricks require 850-1250 BTUs to produce, compared to 4800-8800 BTUs for clay bricks and 1240 BTUs for concrete bricks.  The company also claims the brick’s carbon footprint is .25 pounds, compared to 1.3 pounds for clay brick and .75 pounds for concrete brick.

Naturally — would you expect anything else of a competitor — executives at the Brick Industry Association told the Wall Street Journal that they question whether the fly ash bricks will last as long as clay bricks.

The brick comes in modular and utility sizes in seven colors, while the paver is available in six colors for pedestrian and light traffic applications.  The bricks have been designed and manufactured to sell competitively with commercial clay bricks.

In terms of safety, CalStar says the fly ash is bound within a strong crystalline matrix.  Therefore, the fly ash is sealed and not expected to result in any exposures to health.

CalStar officially opens its plant in Caledonia, Wisconsin tomorrow, January 11, 2010.  The plant will produce 40 million bricks annually recycling fly ash from Wisconsin Energy Corporation.

See further Putting Green Technology into Bricks by the WSJ.

Photo credit: CalStar Products.