Nano Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) as a Reliable, Durable, and Environment-Friendly Alternative to Diminishing Fly Ash
Poudyal, Lochana (TTU)
Adhikari, Kushal (TTU)
Won, Moon (TTU)
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Fly ash is widely used in the cement industry to improve the performance and durability of concrete. The future availability of fly ash, however, is a concern, as most countries are inclining towards renewable energy sources as opposed to fossil fuels. Additional concerns have been raised regarding the impact of strict environmental regulations on fly ash quality and variability. This paper, therefore, evaluates if nano calcium carbonate (nano CaCO3) can be used as an alternative to fly ash. This paper presents comprehensive testing results (fresh, hardened, and durability) for OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement) and PLC (Portland Limestone Cement) concretes with 1% nano CaCO3 and compares them to those for concretes with fly ash (both Class F and C). Compared to concretes with fly ash, OPC and PLC with nano CaCO3 presented improved testing results in most cases, including later age strength, permeability, and scaling resistance. As nanotechnology in concrete is a relatively new topic, more research on the efficient use of nanotechnology, such as for proper dispersion of nano CaCO3 in the concrete, has potential to offer increased benefits. Further, nano CaCO3 is environmentally and economically viable, as it has the potential to be produced within the cement plant while utilizing waste CO2 and generating economic revenue to the industry. Thus, nano CaCO3 has the potential to serve as an alternative to fly ash in all beneficial aspects—economic, environmental, and technical.