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Alkali Activation of Natural Pozzolan for Geopolymer Cement Production

Alkali Activation of Natural Pozzolan for Geopolymer Cement Production



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Published by yusef_behdari
2nd international conference of Concrete & Development - Tehran /IRAN
2nd international conference of Concrete & Development - Tehran /IRAN

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Published by: yusef_behdari on Feb 23, 2009
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International Conference on
Concrete & Development 
April 30
, 2005, Tehran, Iran
Alkali Activation of Natural Pozzolan for Geopolymer Cement Production
D. Bondar 
, C. J. Lynsdale
, A. A. Ramezanianpour 
1. Dept. of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK 2. Dept. of Civil Engineering, Amir Kabir University, Tehran
The challenge for the civil engineering community in the near future will be to realize structuresin harmony with the concept of sustainable development, through the use of high performancematerials of low environmental impact that are produced at reasonable cost. Geo-polymericmaterials provide a route towards this objective. The main benefit of geo-polymeric cement is thereduction in environmental impact. Using lesser amounts of calcium-based raw materials, lower manufacturing temperature and lower amounts of fuel, result in reduced carbon dioxide emissionsfor geopolymer cement manufacture by up to 80%-90%, in comparison with Portland cement.This paper reviews geopolymer cement technology and presents preliminary results usingactivated Iranian natural pozzolans namely, taftan and Shahindej.
Natural pozzolan, zeolite, alkali activated pozzolan, kaolinite, geopolymer 
1. Introduction:
The challenge for the civil engineering community in the near future will be to realize structuresin harmony with the concept of sustainable development, and this involves the use of high performance materials produced at reasonable cost with the lowest possible environmentalimpact. Unfortunately, the production of Portland cement, a major component material of concrete worldwide, releases large amounts of CO
into the atmosphere. It is estimated that the production of 1 tone of OPC results in the release of 1 tone of CO
, a major contributor to thegreenhouse effect and the global warming of the planet [1]. Given the huge amounts of concreteused worldwide (one cubic meter of concrete per person per year), cement production isestimated to contribute around 7% of the global CO
emissions.Geopolymer cement, which is based on the polymerisation of Al-Si minerals using alkalis, offersa route for the production of concrete with low environmental impact. The production of geopolymer cement requires much lower manufacture temperature (<750
C) in comparison tothat required for OPC (1400
C) and the manufacture also does not involve the calcinations of materials high in calcium content (e.g. calcium carbonate in OPC). Therefore, overall fuelconsumption is reduced to a third and the CO
emissions are lowered by 80-90% in comparisonwith OPC production. In addition, materials based on aluminosilicates are abundant naturallyworldwide and in many wastes and by-products and geopolymer cement may be manufacturedusing existing cement works, therefore no new expenditure is necessary.Geopolymer concrete is a concrete with a geopolymer cement matrix binding fine and coarseaggregates. It is also referred to in the literature [2] as rock-concrete since the finished product isalmost identical to natural rock in appearance. With geopolymer cement it is possible to producea mixture that can be poured, moulded, worked, and yet set far quicker and harder than normalPortland cement concrete [3].This paper reviews current literature on geopolymer cement and concrete and describes initialresults produced with the activation of Iranian natural pozzolan, namely, taftan and Shahindej.
2. Background and forecasting:
The idea came out of the Great Pyramid Mystery. Davidovits state stone of the pyramid was notquarried, as block as, directly from the quarries of Turah and Mokattam. The major difference henoticed:The geological content of the 87% limestone is apparently identical, but the stone has a 10%content of synthetic zeolite based on a mix of soluble silica, alumina, and caustic soda.The stone is harder and lighter than the natural quarry stone.The experience shows when bubbles have been present in natural stone, they have always beenround, not flattened [4].In view of the global sustainable development, it is imperative that supplementary cementingmaterials be used to replace large proportions of cement in the concrete industry [1].These supplementary cementing materials are coal and lignite fly ash, rice husk ash, palm oil fuelash, other ashes, blast furnace and steel slag, silica fume, limestone, metakaolin, natural pozzolan, and geo-polymer with mineral and metal resources. The greater durability imparted bythe fly ash activated with a suitable activator like lime and maximum replacement of (55-60)% bythe weight of Portland cement to the final concrete element but the tendency in world electricity
 3 production is the opposite of implementing more and more coal-fuelled power plants. Even if  power plants successfully tackling the quality issue, until year 2015 a maximum amount of 290million tones of fly ash about 8% of the worlds cement market would be available for cementapplications [2].Slag is by-product of the metallurgical industry. Slag is either crystalline stable solid used asaggregates or glassy material used as hydraulic binder (Regourd, 1986). Slag cements can containmore than 80% slag activated chemically with lime or sulfate and NaOH activators. Thecementing potential of granulated blast furnace slag is to a large extent dependent on its glasscontent. The quantities of blast-furnace slag available for blending with Portland cement aredeclining in industrial countries due to the changes occurring in metallurgical processes. Due tospecial cooling process, the problem that slag becomes highly reactive in melting and damagessignificantly to refractory material during adding it to cement kiln, also being useful as aggregatein concrete it shouldn’t be thought as a significant impact in production of cement. Quenchedvitreous slag could represent the availability of respectively 290 to 560 million tones of blast slagin the year 2015 for cement production [2].Metakaolin is a highly pozzolanic material produced by calcinic China clay at a temperature of 700-900C (EN 206/BS 5328). It is formed heating Kaolin (Al
). A calcinationtemperature in the range of 700-800c has generally given the best activation [4]. The alkaliactivation of metakaolin (MK) leads to the production of high-mechanical-performance network-structure materials. Results show the effectiveness of MK in preventing damage due to alkali-silica reaction, prolonged the initial and final setting times, reduced the porosity, and improvedthe microstructure by re-crystallizing hydrated calcium silicates together with the forminghexagonal calcium aluminate hydrate [5]. Metakaolin is a product, which is manufactured for userather than by-product, and the process of producing this material seems similar to geo-polymers. Natural pozzolan are vitreous pyroclastic produced by violent eruptive volcanic action. Theancient Romans used natural pozzolan for producing their famous Roman cement, obtaining by blending lime and pozzolan [2].A geo-polymeric cement process can transform a wide range of alumina- silica natural or wastessuch as fly ash, blast furnace slag, metakaolin, and natural pozzolan into building products.Fig.1.Distribution of BaU world cement market for the year 2015, total 3500 million tonnes

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