Afsin-Elbistan (AE) coal fly ashes obtained by burning coal samples from top, middle and bottom sections of the AE coal seam were characterized and their properties were compared. Chemical analysis of the AE coal fly ashes showed that they are mainly composed of CaO, SiO2, Fe2O3 and Al2O3. Quantitative X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses were carried out using an interactive data processing system (SIROQUAN (TM)) based on Rietveld interpretation methods. Lime is found in all the samples, ranging from around 7% to just over 38%. Amorphous contents of fly ashes are ranged between 19% and 25%. Different types of AE fly ashes revealed that bottom section coal fly ash is very similar to Class F, while medium and top section coal fly ashes are close to Class C and they might be used as mineral admixture in concrete. But also they do not comply with any of the standard. The results presented here show new possibilities for AE coal fly ashes in a wide range of fields, resulting in great advantages in waste minimization, as well as, resources conservation. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.