This Bureau of Mines report presents the results of a study to rank technologies for extraction of alumina from bottom ash and coal shale. The available literature on composition and availability of coal waste was reviewed, and papers pertinent to alumina extraction are referenced. Types of coal waste were categorized by method of waste generation, coal content (heating value), location, coal type (ash nomenclature), and alkaline earth content. The differences and similarities among the categories of coal waste are summarized as to factors that may affect aluminum extraction, especially factors concerning chemical composition, current production, storage problems, and accumulated tonnage. Data available on physical characteristics and mineralogy did not correlate well with the individual categories of coal waste, and discussion on these two aspects is limited to the differences between coal ash and coal shale.