The generation of fly ash during coal combustion represents a considerable solid waste disposal problem in the state of Illinois and nationwide. In fact, the majority of the three million tons of fly ash produced from burning Illinois bituminous coals is disposed of in landfills. The purpose of this study was to obtain a preliminary assessment of the technical feasibility of mitigating this solid waste problem by making fired bricks with the large volume of fly ash generated from burning Illinois coals. Test bricks were produced by the extrusion method with increasing amounts (20-50% by weight) of fly ash as a replacement for conventional raw materials. The chemical characteristics and engineering properties of the test bricks produced with and without 50 wt% of fly ash substitutions were analyzed and compared. The properties of the test bricks containing fly ash were at least comparable to, if not better than, those of standard test bricks made without fly ash and met the commercial specifications for fired bricks. The positive results of this study suggest that further study on test bricks with fly ash substitutions of greater than 50wt% is warranted. Successful results could have an important impact in reducing the waste disposal problem related to class F fly ash while providing the brick industry with a new low cost raw material. Copyright ?? 2001 Taylor & Francis.