Use of sugarcane bagasse ash as brick material

DUE to limited availability of natural resources and rapid urbanization, there is a shortfall of conventional building construction materials. On the other hand, energy consumed for the production of conventional building construction materials pollutes the air, water and land. Accumulation of unmanaged agro-waste, especially from the developing countries, has an increased environmental concern. Therefore, development of new technologies to recycle and convert waste materials into reusable materials is important for the protection of the environment and sustainable development of the society. Waste materials, including sugarcane bagasse ash (SBA)1–3 , recycled paper mill waste4 , petroleum effluent treatment plant sludge5,6 , billet scale7 , red mud, fly ash8 , granulated blast furnace slag9 , steel industry dust10 and sewage sludge11 were used to manufacture brick and other construction materials. The cementitious binder, fly ash–lime–gypsum (FaL–G) finds extensive application in the manufacturing of building components and materials such as bricks12, hollow bricks13 and structural concrete14 . Attempts were also made to incorporate agro-industrial waste in the production of bricks; for instance, the use of straw, cotton waste15, rice husk ash16, limestone dust and wood sawdust17 and processed waste tea18. Thermal conductivity was reduced by the addition of pore-forming agents (waste material) to the bricks before firing19–21. The need to conserve traditional building materials that are facing depletion has forced engineers to look for alternative materials. Recycling of such wastes by incorporating them into building materials is a practical solution to the pollution problem22 . The major pollution problems faced by small-scale process industries are due to the huge amount of solid and sludge waste generation and the limited treatment facilities. The use of waste as the brick material is a sustainable solution to solid waste management; it provides alternative raw material and an additional source of revenue. The raw materials used here are otherwise landfilled and thus add to ever escalating cost of disposal. The burnt sugarcane bagasse residue is commonly known as SBA. The potential production capacity of burnt sugarcane bagasse residue is around 7–8% of total bagasse consumed23,24 . The resulting CO2 emissions from bagasse are equal to the amount of CO2 that the sugarcane absorbs from the atmosphere during its growing phase, which makes the process of co-generation greenhouse gasneutral25 . The bricks thus manufactured using these wastes are energy-efficient due to zero emission of the principal raw materials. The present communication focuses on the development of SBA–quarry dust (QD)– lime (L) brick combination which is useful for the sustainable development of the construction industry. The automated brick plant was used for brick manufacturing. Optimal composition of the brick with respect to SBA– QD–L was determined from various proportions by evaluating the properties. The principle raw material, SBA sample, was collected from M/s Shri Satyasai Oil Industries and Refinery, Nanded, Maharashtra, India. Samples were collected during the cleaning operation of the boilers in the factory. In the boiler, the sugarcane bagasse is burnt at a temperature varying from 240C to 600C, depending on the moisture content and feed of the bagasse. The SBA thus obtained is used for making building bricks by mixing with quarry dust and lime in different proportions. Raw lime conforming to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), IS 712:1984 was used26. Crushed quarry dust was obtained from local crusher plants (Metal Quarry, Nagpur, India). 

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