Pozzolanic Reactivity Studies on a Biomass-Derived Waste from Sugar Cane Production: Sugar Cane Straw Ash (SCSA)

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2016-08-01

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Biomass has gained in importance as an energy source in recent years. One of the crops that presents interesting opportunities with regard to biomass is sugar cane. In Brazil, sugar cane production is increasing for alcohol and sugar manufacture. Some byproducts, such as sugar cane straw, also are obtained during harvesting. Because of the calorific value of the sugar cane straw, its use as biomass is increasing. After the straw is burned to produce energy, an ash is obtained: sugar cane straw ash (SCSA). This waste needs an appropriate destination, and since the recent publication of successful studies using biomass derived-ashes as pozzolanic material, the present study aimed to assess the pozzolanic reactivity of sugar cane straw ash. The pozzolanic activity was assessed using a new and simple recently proposed method: evaluation of the electrical conductivity of calcium hydroxide (CH) and pozzolan suspensions, in which solid CH is initially present. These results were compared to those of two other well-established techniques: Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. The evaluation by all three techniques is similar and shows that sugar cane straw ash is a good pozzolanic material: high lime fixation values for CH/SCSA mixes were determined by thermogravimetric analysis, and unsaturation with respect to CH in 3.5:6.5 CH/SCSA suspension was achieved at 60 °C. According to this behavior, a bright future for SCSA as a replacement for Portland cement is expected.

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ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, v. 4, n. 8, p. 4273-4279, 2016.

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