Investigation on Strength Enhancement of U-TPOFA Based Binary Blended Alkali Activated Mortar Through Addition of Fly Ash

  • Otman M. M. Elbasir
  • Megat Azmi Megat JohariEmail author
  • M. J. A. Mijarsh
  • Zainal Arifin Ahmad
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 53)


Alkaline activated binders (AAB), which are the results of reaction between source aluminosilicates and alkaline activator, are an environmentally friendly binder that exhibits high compressive strength (CS). This study explores the effects of different combinations of ultrafine treated palm oil fuel ash (u-TPOFA) and fly ash (FA) on the compressive strength and structural composition changes of the u-TPOFA-FA alkali-activated binary binder mortar (AABBM). The alkaline activated mortar (AAM) was synthesized using mixtures of u-TPOFA and FA in varying ratio of u-TPOFA:FA of (100:0), (90:10), (80:20), (70:30), (50:50), (25,75) and (0:100), respectively, and the alkaline activating solution consist of a combination of Na2SiO3 and NaOH. The combination and concentration of Na2SiO3 and NaOH were constant for all mixtures. Primarily, it was found that mixture with a combination of u-TPOFA:FA of 25:75 gain the highest compressive strength (CS) of 54.82 MPa at 28 days. Therefore, the replacement of SiO2 from u-TPOFA by Al2O3 provided by FA contributes towards significant CS enhancement due to the formation of more N-A-S-H gel binder. The result observed for the gel binder formation was emphasized with XRD and FTIR analyses.


Palm oil fuel ash Fly ash Alkaline activated mortar Compressive strength XRD FTIR 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia for providing financial support through the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (203/PAWAM/6071365) and University Bridging Grant Scheme (304/PAWAM/6316313), respectively for the undertaking of the research work. Special thanks are due to United Palm Oil Industries for providing the palm oil fuel ash and Lafarge Malaysia Berhad, (Associated Pan Malaysia Cement Sdn. Bhd.) for providing the fly ash.


  1. 1.
    ASTM C109/C109M-12 (2012) Standard test method for compressive strength of hydraulic cement mortars (Using 2-in [50 mm] cube specimen. Annual book of ASTM standardsGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    ASTM C 305 (2013) Standard practice for mechanical mixing of hydraulic cement pastes and mortars of plastic consistency. Annual book of ASTM standardsGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Criado M, Palomo A, Fernández-Jiménez A (2005) Alkali activation of fly ashes. Part 1: effect of curing conditions on the carbonation of the reaction products. Fuel 84(16):2048–2054CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Davidovits J (1989) Geopolymers and geopolymeric materials. J Therm Anal Calorim 35(2):429–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Davidovits J (2002) 30 years of successes and failures in geopolymer applications. Market trends and potential breakthroughs. In: Keynote conference on geopolymer conferenceGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    de Vargas AS, Dal Molin DC, Masuero ÂB, Vilela AC, Castro-Gomes J, de Gutierrez RM (2014) Strength development of alkali-activated fly ash produced with combined NaOH and Ca (OH) 2 activators. Cement Concr Compos 53:341–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Duxson PLG, van Deventer JSJ (2006) In: Davidovits J (ed) Green chemistry. Geopolymer, green chemistry and sustainable development solutions. Proceedings of the world congress of geopolymer 2005, St. Quentin, France, pp 189–194Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Elbasir OM, Johari M, Azmi M, Ahmad ZA (2015) Influence of initial silica modulus of Na2SiO3 on the compressive strength of alkali activated ultrafine palm oil fuel ash based mortar. Appl Mech Mater Trans Tech PublGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Elbasir OMM, Megat Johari MA, Ahmad ZA (2019) Effect of fineness of palm oil fuel ash on compressive strength and microstructure of alkaline activated mortar. Eur J Environ Civ Eng 23(2):136–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    García-Lodeiro I, Fernández-Jiménez A, Palomo A, Macphee DE (2010) Effect of calcium additions on N–A–S–H cementitious gels. J Am Ceram Soc 93(7):1934–1940Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Islam A, Alengaram UJ, Jumaat MZ, Bashar II (2014) The development of compressive strength of ground granulated blast furnace slag-palm oil fuel ash-fly ash based geopolymer mortar. Mater Des 1980–2015(56):833–841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Komnitsas K, Zaharaki D, Perdikatsis V (2007) Geopolymerisation of low calcium ferronickel slags. J Mater Sci 42(9):3073–3082CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kumar S, Kristály F, Mucsi G (2015) Geopolymerisation behaviour of size fractioned fly ash. Adv Powder Technol 26(1):24–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mijarsh M, Johari MM, Ahmad ZA (2015) Effect of delay time and Na2SiO3 concentrations on compressive strength development of geopolymer mortar synthesized from TPOFA. Constr Build Mater 86:64–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mijarsh MJA, Megat Johari MA, Ahmad ZA (2014) Synthesis of geopolymer from large amounts of treated palm oil fuel ash: application of the Taguchi method in investigating the main parameters affecting compressive strength. Constr Build Mater 52:473–481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mijarsh MJA, Megat Johari MA, Ahmad ZA (2015) Compressive strength of treated palm oil fuel ash based geopolymer mortar containing calcium hydroxide, aluminum hydroxide and silica fume as mineral additives. Cement Concr Compos 60:65–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nataraja M, Das L (2010) Concrete mix proportioning as per IS 10262: 2009-comparison with IS 10262: 1982 and ACI 211.1-91. Indian Concr J 64–70Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Phair JW, Smith JD, Van Deventer JSJ (2003) Characteristics of aluminosilicate hydrogels related to commercial “Geopolymers”. Mater Lett 57(28):4356–4367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Phul AA, Memon MJ, Shah SNR, Sandhu AR (2019) GGBS and fly ash effects on compressive strength by partial replacement of cement concrete. Civ Eng J 5(4):913–921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ranjbar N, Mehrali M, Alengaram UJ, Metselaar HSC, Jumaat MZ (2014) Compressive strength and microstructural analysis of fly ash/palm oil fuel ash based geopolymer mortar under elevated temperatures. Constr Build Mater 65:114–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ranjbar N, Mehrali M, Behnia A, Alengaram UJ, Jumaat MZ (2014) Compressive strength and microstructural analysis of fly ash/palm oil fuel ash based geopolymer mortar. Mater Des 59:532–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Silva PD, Sagoe-Crenstil K, Sirivivatnanon V (2007) Kinetics of geopolymerization: role of Al2O3 and SiO2. Cem Concr Res 37(4):512–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    ul Haq E, Kunjalukkal Padmanabhan S, Licciulli A (2014) Synthesis and characteristics of fly ash and bottom ash based geopolymers–a comparative study. Ceram Int 40(2):2965–2971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wallah S, Rangan BV (2006) Low-calcium fly ash-based geopolymer concrete: long-term properties. Curtin University of Technology, Perth, p 107Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Xu H, Gong W, Syltebo L, Izzo K, Lutze W, Pegg IL (2014) Effect of blast furnace slag grades on fly ash based geopolymer waste forms. Fuel 133:332–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Yusuf MO, Johari MAM, Ahmad ZA, Maslehuddin M (2014) Effects of addition of Al(OH)3 on the strength of alkaline activated ground blast furnace slag-ultrafine palm oil fuel ash (AAGU) based binder. Constr Build Mater 50:361–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yusuf MO, Megat Johari MA, Ahmad ZA, Maslehuddin M (2014) Evolution of alkaline activated ground blast furnace slag–ultrafine palm oil fuel ash based concrete. Mater Des 55:387–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Zhang Z, Li L, Ma X, Wang H (2016) Compositional, microstructural and mechanical properties of ambient condition cured alkali-activated cement. Constr Build Mater 113:237–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Otman M. M. Elbasir
    • 1
    • 3
  • Megat Azmi Megat Johari
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. J. A. Mijarsh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zainal Arifin Ahmad
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringUniversiti Sains MalaysiaNibong TebalMalaysia
  2. 2.Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of EngineeringAl-Merghab UniversityAl-KhumsLibya
  3. 3.Civil Engineering DepartmentHigh Institute of Science and TechnologyQaser Bin GashearLibya
  4. 4.Structural Materials Niche Area, School of Materials and Mineral Resources EngineeringUniversiti Sains MalaysiaNibong TebalMalaysia

Personalised recommendations