This study evaluated the mechanical and environmental properties of cement mortars containing fly ash from biomass combustion as a secondary cementitious material. Cement mortars with 20 and 40% wt. replacement of Portland cement with fly ash from two types of installations were tested for their compressive strength and leaching behaviour. Substitution of 20% Portland cement with wood fly ash complied with the reference standard for compressive strength of 42.5öMPa at 28ödays. Replacement rates of 40% developed a lower strength (30 and 33.5öMPa), but were still suitable for applications. The pulverized fuel ash perform substantially worse. We conclude that the biomass fly ash from fluidized bed combustion performs as a functional secondary cementitious material in cement, whereas the functionality of pulverized fuel fly ash is insufficient. The release of environmentally relevant elements from all the tested specimens fulfilled the Dutch leaching criteria for reuse. During second life as a granular construction material the release of Ba, Cr, Mo and V increased to a level of concern. However, this release was found to be similar to that of existing blended cements and was controlled by cement chemistry. The technical performance of cement mortars was influenced by the type and ratio of fly ash mixed with cement. However, the environmental performance was driven by the cement matrix that controlled the release of contaminants. Using biomass fly ash as a secondary cementitious material can reduce the carbon footprint of concrete by 40% while maintaining good technical and environmental performance.
- Biomass ash
- Blended cement
- Compressive strength
- Secondary cementitious material