University of Oulu

Kinnunen, P., Yliniemi, J., Talling, B. et al. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag (2017) 19: 1220.

Rockwool waste in fly ash geopolymer composites

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Author: Kinnunen, Paivo1; Yliniemi, Juho1; Talling, Bob2;
Organizations: 1Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Renotech Oy, Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-11-04


Mineral wool waste is often considered unrecyclable, due to its difficult-to-process physical composition, and potential microbial contamination in the post-consumer products. Total mineral wool waste generated in the EU is growing continuously and is currently over 2.3 Mt annually, volumetrically accounting for the largest single waste source in some landfills. Here, we take advantage of the alkali-soluble nature of the rockwool waste, and use a combined mixing and dissolution method to prepare this otherwise unusable waste for geopolymerization, with up to 33 % inclusion in the final product. This mixing and dissolution step enables sufficiently high solids content to form a castable geopolymer paste, which forms a rigid matrix and a compressive strength of 12.8 MPa, sufficient for structural applications. This is the first time mineral wool waste has been used as a geopolymer precursor. FESEM and XRD analysis of the formed products were performed to verify geopolymer formation. Using the preparation reported here, otherwise unrecyclable mineral wool waste can potentially be turned into a valuable raw material for geopolymer materials.

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Series: Journal of material cycles and waste management
ISSN: 1438-4957
ISSN-E: 1611-8227
ISSN-L: 1438-4957
Volume: 19
Issue: 3
Pages: 1220 - 1227
DOI: 10.1007/s10163-016-0514-z
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 216 Materials engineering
215 Chemical engineering
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The authors would like to thank Ekokem Environmental Stipend Fund for financial support, and Sanna Torniainen for performing a part of the experimental work as part of her undergraduate thesis.
Copyright information: © Springer Japan 2016. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in J Mater Cycles Waste Manag. The final authenticated version is available online at: