Reference : Recycling of gravel wash mud for manufacturing CO2-reduced cement
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Engineering, computing & technology : Civil engineering
Sustainable Development
Recycling of gravel wash mud for manufacturing CO2-reduced cement
Thapa, Vishojit Bahadur mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Medecine (FSTM) > >]
University of Luxembourg, ​Esch-sur-Alzette, ​​Luxembourg
Docteur en Sciences de l'Ingénieur
Waldmann, Daniele mailto
Hansen, Joachim mailto
Lecomte, André
Wagner, Jean-Frank
Simon, Claude
[en] Gravel wash mud ; Alternative clay materials ; Calcined clays ; Supplementary cementitious material ; Pozzolanic activity ; Illite ; Kaolinite ; Metakaolin ; Lime ; Alkali-activated binder ; Blended cements ; Blended lime-clay pastes ; Concrete ; Mineralogy ; Mechanical properties ; Microstructural analysis ; Hydration kinetics ; Drying shrinkage
[en] The present research project “CO2REDCEM” is carried out at the Laboratory of Solid Structures (LSS) of the University of Luxembourg, in close collaboration with Luxembourgish industrial partners (Cimalux S.A., Carrières Feidt S.A. and Contern S.A.). This project aims at reducing the generation of CO2 emissions during cement production by minimisation of the use of cement clinker or its complete replacement by new binder compositions and concepts, containing novel material resources derived from local unused industrial waste products. Such a potential raw material is gravel wash mud (GWM), which occurs as a waste product from gravel mining. This clayey mud is collected from a sludge reservoir, located in the North West of Luxembourg. Currently, this waste product is landfilled without any further use. However, this prime material offers very promising properties, which require a thorough characterisation and verification before its revalorisation as a viable supplementary cementitious material (SCMs).
Reusing or recycling of waste elements into goods has been among the greatest ambitions of our and earlier generations, and it will take a more important role in the future economy. One primary goal of this project is to replace the “end-of-life” concept of gravel wash mud by reusing it as new raw material. This endeavour will bring double benefit to environment as the waste is prevented from landfilling, and it is revalorised as a prime resource in another system.This research work shares the outcomes from the assessment of the performance of the prime material GWM within the following binder concepts and binder reaction mechanisms:
• The use of gravel wash mud (GWM) powders as a precursor material for the synthesis of alkali-activated binders: A “cementless” binder is synthesised by alkaline activation of processed and calcined GWM powders. The mitigation of the CO2 emissions is achieved by the calcination process of the clayey gravel wash mud, which requires less thermal energy and thus lower energy consumption than for cement clinker production.
• Substitution of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) by calcined GWM powders: Cement and concrete mixtures are prepared based on partial replacement of Portland cement by calcined GWM powders. This study presents the investigations on the involved reaction mechanisms (pozzolanic and cementitious hydration reactions), the optimal mixture configurations and the optimal material treatment processes.
• The development of lime-Metakaolin-GWM binder concepts: Mixtures without cement are developed using GWM and other constituents, classified as industrial by-products. This research includes the mineralogical and microstructural characterisation of the constituents, the understanding of the reaction mechanism, and the optimisation of the mixtures to enhance the performance of the novel cementitious products.
This thesis allowed to assess the performance of the waste product GWM as a valid pozzolanic prime material and to understand the requirements on physical, chemical and mineralogical characteristics of any potential raw material to ensure its permissibility as an alternative supplementary cementitious material (SCM).
University of Luxembourg: Laboratory of Solid Structures
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public ; Others

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