Use of Coal Fly Ash or Glass Pozzolan Addition as a Mitigation Tool for Alkali-Silica Reactivity in Cement Mortars Amended with Recycled Municipal Solid Waste Incinerator Bottom Ash

  • Matthew L. Schafer
  • Kyle A. Clavier
  • Timothy G. Townsend
  • Christopher C. Ferraro
  • Jerry M. Paris
  • Benjamin E. Watts
Original Paper


Municipal solid waste incinerator bottom ash was evaluated for its alkali aggregate reactivity in cement mortars. Subsequently, two wastes were evaluated as supplementary cementitious materials for their efficacy in mitigating expansive alkali-silica reactions in cement mortars amended with bottom ash. Three bottom ashes were incorporated into mortar bars as 15, 30 and 50% replacements of non-reactive sand. Control MSWI amended mortars were compared to those containing coal fly ash and glass pozzolan (synthetic glass). Dimensional expansion of the mortars was measured over 14 days to quantify the extent to which the recycled coal fly ash and glass pozzolan mitigated the alkali reactivity of the ash-amended mortar specimens. Average expansions of the ash-amended mortars ranged from 0.10 to 0.40%, suggesting that ash components reacted expansively in an alkaline environment. Microscopic analysis was used to complement the data and confirm the presence of silica-rich gel within glass fragments of the ash, as well as cracking of the aggregates. Supplementary cementitious materials (class F coal fly ash, glass pozzolan) mitigated expansion of the mortars by 90% on average, likely through consumption of the alkalis in the paste pore water.


Municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) Bottom ash Alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR) Alkali–silica reaction (ASR) Durability Recycling Recycled glass Coal fly ash 



This study was funded through research grants with the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County in Florida, USA and the Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management. The authors would like to extend considerable appreciation to the Authority for supplying the bottom ashes used in the study, and for providing swift logistical support on matters concerning bottom ash staging and sampling. The authors also thank Argos Corporation for donating natural aggregates which were used to create the mortars in this study. A special thank you is extended to the following graduate and undergraduate researchers at the University of Florida for their assistance with the laboratory work which directly supported this research: Sara Fox, Taylor Humbarger, Danielle Kennedy, Jarrod Petrovitch, and Caitlin Tibbets.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences, Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and EnvironmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and EnvironmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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