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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of the Ecotoxicological Potential of Fly Ash and Recycled Concrete Aggregates Use in Concrete

1
CERIS, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
2
Bioengineering Department and iBB-Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
3
Department of Civil Engineering, Technical Engineering College, Erbil Polytechnic University, Kirkuk Road, Erbil 44001, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10010351
Received: 29 November 2019 / Revised: 19 December 2019 / Accepted: 30 December 2019 / Published: 3 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Binder Concrete and Mortars)
This study applies a methodology to evaluate the ecotoxicological potential of raw materials and cement-based construction materials. In this study, natural aggregates and Portland cement were replaced with non-conventional recycled concrete aggregates (RA) and fly ash (FA), respectively, in the production of two concrete products alternative to conventional concrete (used as reference). The experimental program involved assessing both the chemical properties (non-metallic and metallic parameters) and ecotoxicity data (battery of tests with the luminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri, the freshwater crustacean Daphnia magna, and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae) of eluates obtained from leaching tests of RA, FA, and the three concrete mixes. Even though the results indicated that RA and FA have the ability to release some chemicals into the water and induce its alkalinisation, the respective eluate samples presented no or low levels of potential ecotoxicity. However, eluates from concrete mixes produced with a replacement ratio of Portland cement with 60% of FA and 100% of natural aggregates and produced with 60% of FA and 100% of RA were classified as clearly ecotoxic mainly towards Daphnia magna mobility. Therefore, raw materials with weak evidences of ecotoxicity could lead to the production of concrete products with high ecotoxicological potential. Overall, the results obtained highlight the importance of integrating data from the chemical and ecotoxicological characterization of materials’ eluate samples aiming to assess the possible environmental risk of the construction materials, namely of incorporating non-conventional raw materials in concrete, and contributing to achieve construction sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemical characterization; concrete; construction material; ecotoxicology; fly ash; leachate; raw material; recycled aggregates; sustainability chemical characterization; concrete; construction material; ecotoxicology; fly ash; leachate; raw material; recycled aggregates; sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rodrigues, P.; Silvestre, J.D.; Flores-Colen, I.; Viegas, C.A.; Ahmed, H.H.; Kurda, R.; de Brito, J. Evaluation of the Ecotoxicological Potential of Fly Ash and Recycled Concrete Aggregates Use in Concrete. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 351.

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