Use of Agricultural Wastes as Supplementary Cementitious Materials
Abstract: Global cement production is continuously increasing from 1990 till 2050 and growing particularly rapidly in developing countries, where it represents a crucial element for infrastructure development and industrialisation. Every tonne of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) produced releases, on average, about 800 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere, or, in total, the overall production of cement represents roughly 7% of all man-made carbon emissions. The present paper aims to deepen the re-use of agricultural solid waste materials as partial replacement of OPC, which can positively contribute to the sustainability of the concrete industry because of their availability and environmental friendliness. In particular, rice-husk ash (RHA) and oat-husk ash (OHA), burned under the right conditions, can have a high reactive silica content, representing very potential pozzolans. The mechanical and physical characteristics of both materials are investigated to evaluate the influence on concrete properties. Subsequently, using the environmental product declarations (EPDs) of the material used, a comparative environmental impact analysis between RHA concrete and ordinary concrete having the same resistance class, is presented. It is concluded that the use of RHA as supplementary cementitious material can serve a viable and sustainable partial replacement to OPC for the reduction of CO2 emissions and global warming potential.
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