Slags with varied amorphous and crystalline content, typical of iron and steel production, are generally underutilized. One promising reuse pathway for these wastes is chemical activation, producing alternatives to conventional building materials with lower embodied energy. The formation of a hardened binder is dependent on the slag mineralogy and, specifically, the reactivity of relevant phases. Reactivity can be understood by monitoring elemental dissolution rates through inductively coupled plasma (ICP-OES) analysis. Post-dissolution ICP analysis of activating solution and spectroscopic analysis of remaining solids was performed on several highly crystalline slags and on relevant synthetic minerals to track changes in chemical and phase composition. Amorphous and ionic phases have been observed as more reactive than other crystalline phases. This work aims to inform future studies on waste blending in alkali-activated systems, a promising avenue for valorization of industrial wastes with varied physicochemical properties. To this end, dissolution tests with varied initial Si, Al, and Ca concentrations in activating solution were also performed.
Slag Alkali activation Γ-C2S
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We would like to acknowledge the financial support for this research through the Tata Center for Technology and Design as well as the Environmental Solutions Initiative, both at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge. We also acknowledge the support from NSF CAREER #1751925.
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