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| Last Updated:: 23/08/2019

City scientists develop eco-friendly concrete blocks from industrial waste

 

 

 

 

 

City scientists have developed a cost-effective and environment friendly concrete blocks using industrial waste which can be an alternative to cement blocks.

 

 

 

On Thursday, scientists from CSIR- Structural Engineering Research Centre (SERC), who developed the blocks using geopolymer technology, transferred the technology to a private company in Erode facilitated by National Research Development Corporation.

 

 

 

The technology can produce blocks for various applications like buildings, footpaths and parking lots in a matter of a week.

 

 

 

According to SERC scientists, the geopolymer concrete blocks have been developed with a combination of industrial by-products like fly ash and ground granulated blast furnace (GGBS) slag along with sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate solution, replacing cement, which emits CO2 during production, and does not need water for curing unlike cement blocks, thereby saving a large amount of water.

 

 

 

 

Fly ash is a waste generated in thermal power plants and GGBS is a by-product from steel industries. While these wastes are used for certain applications, much of it is dumped causing environmental concerns.

 

 

 

PS Ambily, the scientist who developed the technology said they have replaced the use of Portland cement. The technology requires alumina and silica containing materials for better binding, which the scientists found when they used a combination of fly ash and GGBS. “It’s cost-effective and at the same time, is equal or better than Portland cement blocks when it comes to durability,” she said.

 

 

 

Further, unlike cement blocks that require on an average 28 days, geopolymer blocks can cure in ambient temperature conditions with almost equal strength to a cement block, in a matter of seven to 14 days. KPS Bricks Industries operated by S Srimathi, has been involved in making fly ash bricks since 2006.

 

 

 

 

Scientists said geopolymer blocks have an edge over fly ash bricks as fly ash requires heat for curing, while they have fly ash along with GGBS, which is amorphous and can react under room temperature conditions. Also, by varying the proportions of the material, blocks of different grades suitable for different applications can be produced.

 

 

 

Santhosh Kapuria, director, CSIR-SERC, who signed the MoU for the transfer of technology, said many companies have taken up this technology.

 

 

 

 

Source: The Times of India, 23 August 2019, Chennai.