Integration of Rice Husk Ash as Supplementary Cementitious Material in the Production of Sustainable High-Strength Concrete

Materials (Basel). 2022 Nov 17;15(22):8171. doi: 10.3390/ma15228171.


The incorporation of waste materials generated in many industries has been actively advocated for in the construction industry, since they have the capacity to lessen the pollution on dumpsites, mitigate environmental resource consumption, and establish a sustainable environment. This research has been conducted to determine the influence of different rice husk ash (RHA) concentrations on the fresh and mechanical properties of high-strength concrete. RHA was employed to partially replace the cement at 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% by weight. Fresh properties, such as slump, compacting factor, density, and surface absorption, were determined. In contrast, its mechanical properties, such as compressive strength, splitting tensile strength and flexural strength, were assessed after 7, 28, and 60 days. In addition, the microstructural evaluation, initial surface absorption test, = environmental impact, and cost-benefit analysis were evaluated. The results show that the incorporation of RHA reduces the workability of fresh mixes, while enhancing their compressive, splitting, and flexural strength up to 7.16%, 7.03%, and 3.82%, respectively. Moreover, incorporating 10% of RHA provides the highest compressive strength, splitting tensile, and flexural strength, with an improved initial surface absorption and microstructural evaluation and greater eco-strength efficiencies. Finally, a relatively lower CO2-eq (equivalent to kg CO2) per MPa for RHA concrete indicates the significant positive impact due to the reduced Global Warming Potential (GWP). Thus, the current findings demonstrated that RHA can be used in the concrete industry as a possible revenue source for developing sustainable concretes with high performance.

Keywords: high strength concrete; mechanical properties; rice husk ash; sustainable concrete.

Grant support

This research received no external funding.