One inconvenience presented by the thermal activation of kaolinite-based wastes is their low content of metakaolinite, a highly pozzolanic product listed in current standards for the manufacture of commercial cements. The addition of a chemical activator during the thermal activation process is a priority line of research to increase the reactivity of the recycled metakaolinite. In this paper, an additional chemical activator, ZnO, is studied and its effect on both pozzolanic properties and the evolution of mineralogical phases in the thermal activation of coal waste with a reaction time of up to 90 days in the pozzolan/lime system. To do so, activation temperatures of between 550 °C/650 °C were selected and additions of chemical activator (ZnO) in percentages of between 0.0% and 3.0% by weight of coal waste, because it is an activator with a positive effect on a 100% natural kaolinite. The results showed that the incorporation of ZnO inhibited the reactivity of the recycled metakaolinite and in consequence, the capacity of the metakaolinite to react with the surrounding lime; even more so when the content of added chemical activator was raised, albeit with some exceptions, in the samples activated at 550 °C and 650 °C with 0.5% of chemical activator. In none of the cases under analysis was the chemical activator able to improve the properties of the metakaolinite in comparison with the properties of the reference sample activated only with temperature. The hydrated phases that appeared in the pozzolanic reaction were tetracalcium aluminate hydrate, stratlingite, monosulfoaluminate hydrate and LDH (phyllosilicate/carbonate).
Applied Clay Science – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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