Next Article in Journal
Toward the Coordinated Sustainable Development of Urban Water Resource Use and Economic Growth: An Empirical Analysis of Tianjin City, China
Previous Article in Journal
Measurement and Prediction of Regional Tourism Sustainability: An Analysis of the Yangtze River Economic Zone, China
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1322;

Environmentally Friendly Utilization of Wheat Straw Ash in Cement-Based Composites

Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, Nazarbayev University, Astana 010000, Republic of Kazakhstan
Department of Civil Engineering, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
Department of Civil Engineering, GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi 23640, Pakistan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [54825 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]   |  


The open burning of biomass residue constitutes a major portion of biomass burning and leads to air pollution, smog, and health hazards. Various alternatives have been suggested for open burning of crop residue; however, each of them has few inherent drawbacks. This research suggests an alternative method to dispose wheat straw, i.e., to calcine it in a controlled environment and use the resulting ash as a replacement of cement by some percentage in cement-based composites. When wheat straw, an agricultural product, is burned, it is very rich in SiO2, which has a pozzolanic character. However, the pozzolanic character is sensitive to calcination temperature and grinding conditions. According to the authors’ best knowledge, until now, no systematic study has been devised to assess the most favorable conditions of burning and grinding for pozzolanic activity of wheat straw ash (WSA). Hence, a systematic experimental program was designed. In Phase I, calcination of WS was carried out at 500 °C, 600 °C, 700 °C, and 800 °C for 2 h. The resulting ashes were tested for color change, weight loss, XRD, XRF, Chapelle activity, Fratini, and pozzolanic activity index (PAI) tests. From test results, it was found that beyond 600 °C, the amorphous silica transformed into crystalline silica. The WSA calcined at 600 °C was found to satisfy Chapelle and Fratini tests requirements, as well as the PAI requirement of ASTM at 28 days. Therefore, WSA produced at 600 °C (WSA600) showed the best pozzolanic performance. In Phase II, WSA600 was ground for various intervals (15–240 min). These ground ashes were tested for SEM, Blaine fineness, Chapelle activity, Fratini, and PAI tests. From test results, it was observed that after 120 min of grinding, there was an increase of 48% in Blaine surface area, with a consequence that WSA-replaced cement cubes achieved a compressive strength almost similar to that of the control mix. Conclusively, wheat straw calcined at 600 °C and ground for 120 min was found to be the most effective way to use pozzolanic material in cement-based composites. The addition of WSA in cement-based composites would achieve manifold objectives, i.e., aiding in the production of environmentally friendly concrete, the use of wheat straw as fuel for electricity production, and adding economic value to wheat straw. View Full-Text
Keywords: wheat straw ash; pozzolanic activity; cement; concrete; calcination; grinding; environmental friendly materials wheat straw ash; pozzolanic activity; cement; concrete; calcination; grinding; environmental friendly materials

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Memon, S.A.; Wahid, I.; Khan, M.K.; Tanoli, M.A.; Bimaganbetova, M. Environmentally Friendly Utilization of Wheat Straw Ash in Cement-Based Composites. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1322.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top