University of Oulu

Patrick N. Lemougna, Juho Yliniemi, Elijah Adesanya, Pekka Tanskanen, Paivo Kinnunen, Juha Roning, Mirja Illikainen, Reuse of copper slag in high-strength building ceramics containing spodumene tailings as fluxing agent, Minerals Engineering, Volume 155, 2020, 106448, ISSN 0892-6875,

Reuse of copper slag in high-strength building ceramics containing spodumene tailings as fluxing agent

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Author: Lemougna, Patrick N.1; Yliniemi, Juho1; Adesanya, Elijah1;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Technology, Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, PO Box 4300, 90014 University of Oulu, Finland
2Process Metallurgy Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3InfoTech Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Biomimetics and Intelligent Systems Group (BISG), University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-06-29


The recycling of industrial side streams is of interest for a sustainable use of resources and from an environmental perspective. This paper deals with the reuse of copper slag and spodumene tailings in the development of ceramic materials for potential application in construction. Copper slag included fayalite and magnetite as crystalline phases while spodumene tailings (quartz-felspar sand, QFS) mainly consisted of albite, quartz and microcline. Kaolin (10 wt%) was added as green strength increasing agent in some compositions and the prepared formulations were sintered between 950 and 1150 °C at 50 °C intervals. The phase composition was studied by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction using Rietveld refinement. Tests such as compressive and flexural strength, water absorption, apparent density and freeze thaw cycles were used to assess the material performances. The results showed that densification and strength development were mainly due to partial melting of QFS particles at 1050–1100 °C, leading to water absorption in the range 0.5–7 %. At 1100 °C, a high-performance compressive strength of 140 MPa was achieved with the formulation made fully of recycled materials (50 wt% copper slag and 50 wt% QFS) suggesting its suitability for high strength demanding materials such as load bearing bricks; values of ultrasonic pulse velocity and compressive strength of these ceramics remained stable after 200 freeze thaw cycles, demonstrating their potential suitability as construction materials in severe weathering environments. Additionally, the leaching test proved a good encapsulation of heavy metals in these ceramics. These results are of interest for waste management and efficient use of resources.

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Series: Minerals engineering
ISSN: 0892-6875
ISSN-E: 1872-9444
ISSN-L: 0892-6875
Volume: 155
Article number: 106448
DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2020.106448
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 215 Chemical engineering
216 Materials engineering
Funding: This work was performed under the framework of the “GEOBOT” project, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Pohjois-Pohjanmaa Council of Oulu Region and Vipuvoimaa EU:lta 2014-2020 and companies Boliden Harjavalta Oy, Keliber Oy and Saint-Gobain Finland Oy. Part of the work was carried out with the support of the Centre for Material Analysis, University of Oulu, Finland. Dr. Juho Yliniemi was supported by Academy of Finland (grant #322786).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 322786
Detailed Information: 322786 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (