A review: Alkali-activated cement and concrete production technologies available in the industry

Isabel Pol Segura*, Navid Ranjbar, Anne Juul Damø, Lars Skaarup Jensen, Mariana Canut, Peter Arendt Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review

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Abstract

A growing interest in alternative cements has emerged with the sole purpose of reducing the environmental footprint associated with cement production. One of the promising alternatives is to use non-carbonate materials such as alkali-activated materials. They have demonstrated to have a similar performance as traditional Portland cement and have the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. This paper reviews the main relevant technologies that are already available in the construction industry and explains how to consider them for alkali-activated cement and concrete production. This includes aluminosilicate pre-treatment methods (drying, grinding, and calcining) to increase the precursor's reactivity and degree of amorphization, alkali activation by two-part or one-part mix, as well as, mixing and casting fresh alkali-activated concrete ensuring low porosity and adequate strength development. This review also presents an overview of the alkali-activated cements market, providing examples of commercialized products, estimating related CO2 and costs, as well as future considerations for standardization and commercialization. Most of the commercialized alkali-activated materials are two-part mixes despite their limitations for in-situ applications. CO2 emissions can be reduced by more than 68% when compared to Portland cements. However, they have been estimated to be 2 to 3 times more expensive and the cost is primarily dependent on the aluminosilicate and alkali activators source.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15718
JournalHeliyon
Volume9
Issue number5
Number of pages24
ISSN2405-8440
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Alkali-activated
  • Cement manufacture
  • Drying
  • Grinding
  • Thermal treatment

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