Current trends in Environment, Green Technology and Engineering
Among the actions proposed by the European Union for the implementation of Circular Economy is the use of waste as a secondary raw material (SRM). During the fusion of the scrap, a steel dust is generated, named electric arc furnace dust (EAFD). The EAFD is composed mainly of potentially leachable heavy metals and is classified as a “hazardous” waste. Worldwide, approximately 70% of EAFD is deposited in landfills, with a previous treatment through cement-based materials to prevent the metals’ mobility. However, this action is not in accordance with the Circular Economy concept. The present investigation analyses the use of EAFD as SRM in conventional mortar production for its use as a construction material. Different substitution percentages (25, 50 and 100%) were used replacing the siliceous filler by EAFD. A preceding characterisation of the waste by X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, specific surface area, bulk density, electron microscopy and particle size distribution was performed. The investigation analysed the behaviour of conventional mortars by tests of workability, compressive strength, mineralogy, water absorption by capillarity, and leaching behaviour in granular and monolithic states. The results obtained indicate a slight improvement in mechanical behaviour with the incorporation of EAFD, the reason why its use as SRM in conventional mortars would benefit the construction industry and would encourage the Circular Economy. From an environmental point of view, the mechanisms of Pb fixation should be improved in a granular state.
Circular economy Steelwork dusts Hazardous waste Secondary raw material Conventional mortar Construction material
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This investigation was partly supported by the Andalusian Regional Government (Research Groups TEP-227 and FQM-391) and by the XXI Own Program for the Promotion of Research at the University of Córdoba - Modality 4.2. (FEDER). The authors would like to thank the public company ENRESA for financial support on this research via project (035-ES-IN-0140). The authors wish to thank the staff at the Central Research Support Service (SCAI) and the Fine Chemistry Institute of the University of Córdoba for the assistance and technical support.
XXI Own Program for the Promotion of Research at the University of Córdoba - Modality 4.2. (FEDER). MECD-Spain (http://www.mecd.gob.es/educacion-mecd/) FPU14/05245. ENRESA via project (035-ES-IN-0140).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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