The Use of Colombian Palm Oil Fuel Ash in Alkali Activated Cement Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks

By Jose Reynaldo Zelaya, Juan Carlos Ochoa and Yhan Paul Arias.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 13, 2017 $US5.00

This study investigates the use of Palm Oil Fuel Ash (POFA) an agro-industrial by-product obtained from the incinerated fibers and kernel shells used in the production of biomass as an alternative fuel, which powers plants of the Colombian palm oil industry. POFA can be used as an alkali activated cement (AAC) component to develop a new binder with the same or higher physical and mechanical properties as an Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC). Colombia is one of the largest producers of palm oil in America and fourth in the world with an annual production of fruit bunch in 2014 of 5.4 million tons, from which approximately 0.53 percent can be turned into POFA. The properties of this ash could enable its use in the elaboration of Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks (CSEB), an alternative sustainable construction material, which could help minimize the 33 percent of families in Latin America and the Caribbean and the 37 percent of Colombian families that live in houses built with precarious materials. The first phase of the study consists of determining the maximum dry density of the soil stabilized with OPC and POFA. The second phase is to evaluate POFA’s potential use for manufacturing a CSEB. These building materials could have adequate strength for use in sustainable construction.

Keywords: Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks, Palm Oil Fuel Ash, Alkali Activated Cement,, Sustainable Construction Material

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp.19-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 13, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.080MB)).

Jose Reynaldo Zelaya

Master's Student, Faculty of Architecture, National University of Colombia at Medellín, Medellin, Colombia

Juan Carlos Ochoa

Teacher, School of Construction, Faculty of Architecture, National University of Colombia at Medellín, Medellin, Colombia

Yhan Paul Arias

Teacher, School of Construction, Faculty of Architecture, National University of Colombia at Medellín, Medellin, Colombia