Sintered Bottom and Vitrified Silica Ashes Derived from Incinerated Municipal Solid Waste as Circular Economy-Friendly Partial Replacements for Cement in Mortars

D.A. Wijesekara, P. Sargent, D.J. Hughes, C.J. Ennis

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Abstract

Sintered bottom ash (SBA) and vitrified ash (VA) derived from the incineration of municipal solid waste (MSW) at 1200 °C were used in this study as replacements for Type 2 Portland cement (CEM-II) based mortars. This approach negates the need to send them to landfill, benefits the circular economy and contributes towards the decarbonisation of cementitious construction materials in response to international net zero carbon emission agendas. The material (physico-chemical) characteristics of VA and SBA were analysed before being used as partial replacements for CEM-II in mortars, whereby compressive strength (CS) was the primary criterion for assessing engineering performance. VA and SBA replaced CEM-II at dosages of 10%, 25% and 50% based on their high inorganic and pozzolanic contents; whereby the 10% and 25% replacements did not compromise mortar strength. The alkalinity and pozzolanic properties of SBA collectively indicated it has greater potential as a cementitious material over VA, which possessed a neutral pH. The 28-day CS recorded for mixtures containing 25% VA and 10% SBA were 13.74 MPa and 11.77 MPa, respectively compared with 17.06 MPa for CEM-II control samples. The use of 2% additional water in 25% SBA mortar designs improved strength further, indicating that SBA’s water retention properties permitted further hydration and strength development with curing. Microstructural, mineralogical and infrared spectroscopy analyses indicated that these strengths were owed to the formation of silicate-based hydration products. The outcomes from this study highlight that SBA has potential for replacing CEM-II and VA as a filler in cementitious mortar. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalWaste and Biomass Valorization
Volume2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2023

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