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Title: Properties of mortar containing Phragmites Australis Ash
Authors: Khatib, Jamal
ElKhatib, Lelian
Assaad, Joseph 
El Kordi, Adel
Affiliations: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Keywords: Bio-ash
Cement replacement
CO reduction 2
Phragmites australis ash (PAA)
Sustainable development
Issue Date: 2023-08-22
Part of: Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of phragmites australis ash (PAA) in cementitious systems to achieve sustainable construction. Design/methodology/approach: In this paper, the properties of mortar containing PAA as partial cement replacement are determined. The PAA is produced through slow burning in a closed system to minimize the CO2 emission. A total of four mortar mixes are prepared with PAA replacement levels ranging from 0% to 30% by weight. The water to binder and the proportions of binder to sand are 0.55 and 1:3 by weight, respectively. The properties tested are density, compressive strength, flexural strength, ultrasonic pulse velocity, water absorption by total immersion and capillary rise. Testing is conducted at 1, 7, 28 and 90 days. Findings: While there is a decrease in strength as the amount of PAA increases, there is strong indication of pozzolanic reaction in the presence of PAA. This is in agreement with the results reported by Salvo et al. (2015), where they found noticeable pozzolanic activities in the presence of straw ash, which is rich in SiO2 and relatively high K2O content. At 90 days of curing, there is a decrease of 5% in compressive strength at 10% PAA replacement. However, at 20% and 30% replacement, the reduction in compressive strength is 23% and 32%, respectively. The trend in flexural strength and ultrasonic pulse velocity is similar to that in compressive strength. The water absorption by total immersion and capillary rise tends to increase with increasing amounts of PAA in the mix. There seems to be a linear relationship between water absorption and compressive strength at each curing age. Research limitations/implications: The Phragmites australis plant used in this investigation is obtained from one location and this present a limitation as the type of soil may change the properties. Also one method of slow burning is used. Different burning methods may alter the composition of the PAA. Practical implications: This outcome of this research will contribute towards sustainable development as it will make use of the waste generated, reduce the amount of energy-intensive cement used in construction and help generate local employment in the area where the Phragmites australis plant grows. Originality/value: To the best knowledge of the authors, the ash from the Phragmites australis plant has not been used in cementitious system and this research can be considered original as it examines the properties of mortar containing PAA. Also, the process of burning in a closed system using this material.
ISSN: 17260531
DOI: 10.1108/JEDT-12-2022-0610
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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