The following steps were taken for effecting the study:
Secondary Data Collection
- Extensive literature search was undertaken for secondary data collection. This included the details of work done and literature with research and technical institutions, journals and technical papers, published reports of the government and semi-government bodies, voluntary agencies, international bodies, five year plans and perspective plans, expert committee and working group reports of relevance, technical literature.
Primary Data Collection
- The desk research was further supplemented by mail survey through structured questionnaires and personal interviews for better insight into various facets of fly ash brick manufacturing technologies. Interviews and personal visits were being undertaken to supplement the questionnaires.
The sources of information were classified into:
- Fly Ash generators i.e. electricity boards/thermal power stations.
- Potential users i.e. brick manufactures, housing boards, building materials, building contractors, individual house owners, archetects etc.
- R&D institutions.
- Plant and equipment suppliers.
- Monitoring / facilitating agencies.
Separate questionnaires were designed for first four of the data sources mentioned above. A detailed letter was written in the case of facilitating agencies. First follow up was done after providing 3-4 weeks for the responses to reach us. A second follow-up was carried out in cases where either the response was till awaited, or where more details or information was necessary. Finally about 30% respondents responded to our questionnaires after active follow up.
Annexes II to VI give the lists of the agencies in the above five categories who were contacted for the purpose of data collection.
The next step was compilation and analysis of data. The existi9ng data, specifications and parameters of technologies and processes, reports and survey results along with projections made by various planning bodies formed the basis of our analysis of technologies, apart from personal interviews, and in-house study and database.
The assessment of technologies considered the following aspects:
- Status of technology
- Capital equipment and cost requirements
- Volume of production / adaptability to various levels of operations
Limitations of the Study
The following may be kept in view while studying the report:
- Confusion prevailed among the agencies contacted, regarding the basic technologies for the manufacture of fly ash bricks on one hand, and optimizing certain parameters of the basic technologies with respect to local situation of fly ash quality, cost and level of operation for making the technology commercially relevant, on the other. Thus, considerable effort had to be made to clarify these aspects to the institutions to enable getting a more accurate technological status. The feedback from the institutions in many cases continued to be confused on this account.
- Good amount of data and research material could be obtained from Indian institutions. However, information on foreign technologies has been limited.