The Bureau of Mines is involved in research directed toward the conservation of important raw materials and the utilization of solid waste. Two of the objectives are to conserve high-quality coking coals used for foundry coke and to utilize waste materials of marginal quality but of high calorific value. These objectives are consistent with Bureau goals. Pilot plant cupola trials were made to evaluate the adequacy of various alternative fuels, and to determine to what extent they could replace the foundry coke in cupola charges. Information was obtained on furnace performance, metal and slag chemistry, environmental questions, and the properties of castings. It was shown that anthracite or bituminous coals can partially replace charge coke up to the 40-pct level. Briquetted materials prepared from fuel fines, and waste products or byproducts of high calorific value, all tend to break down on heating in a cupola so that their use must be restricted to below 20 pct replacement. In cases where pitch-bonded coal fines or petroleum coke were used, carbon pickup by the iron was inadequate for gray iron specifications. Although emphasis during this work was placed on basic slag practice, some acid practice results are included.