University of Oulu

Elijah Adesanya, Katja Ohenoja, Andrea Di Maria, Paivo Kinnunen, Mirja Illikainen, Alternative alkali-activator from steel-making waste for one-part alkali-activated slag, Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 274, 2020, 123020, ISSN 0959-6526,

Alternative alkali-activator from steel-making waste for one-part alkali-activated slag

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Author: Adesanya, Elijah1; Ohenoja, Katja1; Di Maria, Andrea2;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Technology, Fiber and Particle Engineering Unit, PO Box 4300, 90014, University of Oulu, Finland
2Sustainability Assessment of Material Life Cycle, Department of Materials Engineering (MTM), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), KasteelPark Arenberg 44, 3000 KU, Leuven, Belgium
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-09-11


In this study, the use of desulphurization dust (DeS-dust) generated as a waste material during steel-making process, as an alternative activator to commercial sodium hydroxide in ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) alkali activation is proposed. The main objective was to decrease the environmental footprint of alkali-activated materials through the reuse of industrial residues. Microsilica was added to increase the amount of soluble silica and enhance the properties of the investigated binders. The results indicate that binders from alternative activator performed better, achieving a 28 days maximum strength of 33 MPa compared to 25 MPa for the sodium hydroxide activated slag. Microsilica addition to the optimum mixes reduces the rate of efflorescence and increases the setting time. Also, microstructural studies using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) show both samples having comparable gel formation and structure. Life cycle impact assessment shows significant savings that can be made using alternative activators over sodium hydroxide activated slag. Through the use of this waste material as alternative activator in alkali-activated binders, an environmentally friendly, and cleaner production of alkali-activated binders can be achieved having comparable or superior performance as the reference binder activated with commercial sodium hydroxide.

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Series: Journal of cleaner production
ISSN: 0959-6526
ISSN-E: 1879-1786
ISSN-L: 0959-6526
Volume: 274
Article number: 123020
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.123020
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 212 Civil and construction engineering
Funding: This work was done as a part of SYMMET project supported by the Business Finland and several Finnish companies: Boliden Harjavalta Oy, Boliden Kokkola Oy, Luxmet Oy, Outokumpu Stainless Oy, Outotec, Owatec Oy, SSAB Europe Oy, Tapojärvi Oy, and Timegate Instruments Oy. P.K. acknowledges financial support from Academy of Finland (grants 322085, 326291 and 329477).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 322085
Detailed Information: 322085 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
329477 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (