Screening of untreated municipal solid waste incineration fly ash for use in cement-based materials: chemical and physical properties

Benjamin A.R. Ebert*, Britt-Marie Steenari, Mette R. Geiker, Gunvor M. Kirkelund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The environmental impact during concrete manufacturing can be reduced by using less cement or using types of cement with high amounts of secondary cementitious materials (SCMs) and fillers. Fly ash from municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) is an unused material, which could potentially be used as an SCM or filler. The applicability of MSWI fly ash samples in cement-based materials was investigated through an indirect determination based on the chemical composition, toxic metal content and particle size distribution of the samples. Furthermore, how the samples compared to each other and how representative the samples were for MSWI fly ash, in general, were investigated by multivariate modelling. MSWI fly ash samples were obtained from Denmark, Sweden and Greenland. Comparing the chemical composition of the MSWI fly ash samples with the chemical requirements for coal fly ash to be used in concrete, specified in EN 450-1 2012, indicated a low potential as SCMs. Additionally, the MSWI fly ash contained and leached more toxic metals than the allowed limits. The particle size distributions were larger than cement and indicated limited potential as filler. A principal component analysis showed that the obtained samples were chemically different materials compared to each other and would have different effects if used in cement-based materials. Additionally, the samples from Denmark were unrepresentative of MSWI fly ash, while the Greenlandic and Swedish samples were comparable to previously studied MSWI fly ash samples.
Original languageEnglish
Article number802
JournalSN Applied Sciences
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Screening
  • Characterization
  • MSWI fly ash
  • Cement
  • Multivariate modelling


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