Cement Clinker based on industrial waste materials

Journal of Civil and Environmental Engineering

ISSN: 2165-784X

Open Access

Research Article - (2020) Volume 10, Issue 3

Cement Clinker based on industrial waste materials

Alpha Ousmane Toure1,2,3*, Nicholas Auyeung2, Falilou Mbacke Sambe1, Jackson Scoot Malace2 and Fuqiong Lei2
*Correspondence: Alpha Ousmane Toure, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Biology, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, Ecole Superieure Polytechnique, Senegal, Tel: +775700730, Email:
1Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Biology, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, Ecole Superieure Polytechnique, Senegal
2College of Engineering, School of Chemical Biological and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA
3College of Engineering, School of Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA


The manufacturing of cement consumes energy and results carbon dioxide emissions. This work focused on producing cement clinker using coal fly ash (CFA), sewage sludge ash (SSA) and an industrial waste with a high content of calcium silicate (CS). Experiments were conducted to assume the use of a process that may consume less energy and raw materials that used in cement clinker manufacturing. The raw mixtures were prepared with lower clay and limestone contents than those used in Portland clinker manufacturing and then burned at lower temperatures, ranged from 1000 to 1200 °C. Due to the content of fluxes and mineralizers of the raw mixtures, this method could decrease carbon dioxide emissions from calcination up to 60% and energy consumption up to 350 kcal/kg of clinker. The free lime content of the clinker was found out by volumetric analysis and was consistent with free lime content in Portland cement clinker. Activation energies ranged from 42.7 to 91.1 kJ/mol and the cement clinkers contents of fluorine varied from 0.82 to 3.9%. The main characterizations of the obtained clinker, which were X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction and SEM, highlighted interesting composition as building material.


Calcium silicate • Cement clinker • Coal fly ash • Industrial waste • Sewage sludge ash


Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) has been a priority material of construction used in many countries throughout the world. In 2017, approximatively 4,100 million metric tons of cement were produced worldwide [1]. Even though OPC is essential for construction and building purposes, its manufacturing process consumes high energy and generates carbon dioxide emissions; with the production of one ton of clinker producing 0.9 ton of CO2 emissions [2]. The main ingredients for obtaining OPC are limestone, iron, silica and alumina. Alternative raw materials are being used in order to reduce limestone and clay consumption and also energy requirement [3]. Several studies related the use of alternatives raw materials such as coal fly ash, sewage sludge ash and some fluoride waste. Indeed, sludge and coal from wastewater treatment and power plants constitute interesting raw materials for cement industry. Coal fly ash has been tested in order to manufacture belite cement [4]. The effect of sewage sludge ash on the properties of cement composites was a purpose of study as well as its cementitious properties [5,6]. Coal bottom ash was also confirmed to reduce material and energy consumption [7]. The use of a mixture of calcium silicate and calcium fluoride, as an industrial waste material from phosphoric acid production, in the raw mixture for clinker manufacturing was successful to produce a fluoride clinker [8] as well as the production of cement at low temperature [9]. In this study, three industrial waste materials were used: a calcium silicate compound (CS), coal fly ash (CFA) and sewage sludge ash (SSA). The objectives of this study were to:

• minimize the disposal of industrial waste from phosphoric acid production, wastewater treatment and coal power plant;

• examine if it is possible to lower energy and raw materials (limestone and clay) consumption in the cement manufacturing process.

Materials and Methods

This section highlights the raw materials, the mixtures, the burning process and the methods of cement clinker characterization.

Raw materials

Limestone and kaolin clay

The limestone (99 wt% of CaCO3) was provided by Omya Canada Inc. The kaolin clay was purchased by VWR Corporation and its chemical composition is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Chemical composition of the kaolin.

Compound SiO2 Al2O3 TiO2 LOI Fe2O3
Content (wt %) 51.70 43.20 2.03 0.10 0.50

Industrial waste materials

Table 2 summarizes the chemical compositions of the three industrial waste materials which were used. The particle sizes of the raw materials are listed in the Table 3. The CS was recovered from a process of caustification to obtain sodium hydroxide carried out in lab experiment. Actually, it is a material mainly composed of calcium silicate [10]. A class F CFA was used. The SSA was obtained from the calcination at 850°C of activated sludge provided by Corvallis Wastewater Plant (Oregon, USA).

Table 2: Chemical composition of the industrial waste materials.

Materials (%wt) CaO SiO2 Al2O3 Fe2O3 MgO K2O SO3 Mn2O3 ZnO Cl TiO2 Na2O P2O5 LOI
CS 67.08 13.89 0.32 0.09 0.52 0.12 0.08 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.02 9.15 0.04 8.67
CFA 16.79 44.31 15.5 6.01 5.05 1.56 0.93 0.1 0.02 0.01 0.95 3.45 0.24 5.08
SSA 7.06 39.64 9.48 6.19 3.13 4.56 1.02 0.17 0.3 0.01 1.6 4.45 17.3 5.32

Table 3: Particle sizes of the raw materials.

Material Limestone Kaolin CS CFA SSA
Particle size (mm) 4.43 1.50 6.82 6.61 6.93

Raw mixtures preparation

The five raw materials (limestone, kaolin, CS, CFA and SSA) were used for preparing the three raw mixtures containing three raw materials (Table 4). This preparation was definitely based on the standard values of the lime saturation factor (LSF) and the silica ratio (SR) factors as required in OPC production [11].

Table 4: Raw mixtures preparation (% wt).

RM (% wt) Limestone Kaolin CS CFA SSA LSF SR
RM1 25 16 59 0 0 96.8 2.34
RM2 59 0 11 30 0 93.1 2.28
RM3 59 0 11 0 30 99.4 2.83

Burning process

After proper blending, the raw mixtures were crushed by means of a porcelain mortar and pestle and fired at the desired temperature during 30 min on an alumina crucible in a ST-1600C-445 Box furnace, with the program going to 10°C in 1 min. Four temperatures were fixed for each raw mix to study the burning process (Table 5).

Table 5: Temperatures of the burning process.

Temperatures (°C)
950°C 1000°C 1050°C 1100°C
1000°C 1050°C 1100°C 1150°C
1050°C 1100°C 1150°C 1200°C

Analytical methods

The obtained clinkers were analyzed to determine the burnability and the chemical composition. X-ray fluorescence studies were performed on Epsilon 3 XLE (Malvern Panalytical Manufacturing). XRD was performed, using the D8-Discover (Bruker Manufacturer). The SEM analysis was handled by the QUANTA 600 F (Fei Company). The free lime contents of the clinkers (CaOL in wt%) were determined by means of the known volumetric ethylene-glycerol method. The analyzed results were compared with the chemical composition of Portland clinker as specified in ASTM C150-07 [12].


This study examined the manufacturing of cement clinker using waste materials of phosphoric acid production, wastewater treatment and coal fired power plants. Three varieties of clinker were obtained from 1000 to 1200°C with activation energies ranged from 42.7 to 91.1 and fluorine content from 0.82% to 3.9%. There was an important presence of both mineralizers (like CaF2) and fluxes (like Na2O, MgO, K2O and P2O5) in the composition of the used industrial waste materials which contribute to decrease the melting point and the phases formation at lower temperatures. The XRF and XRD analyses highlighted interesting compositions as cement material. These alternative methods to produce cement dealt with resources conservation, energy efficiency and environmental protection. Replacing limestone or clay with these industrial waste materials can reduce the carbon footprint from calcination in cement industries up to 60% and the energy consumption up to 350 kcal/kg of clinker. Nonetheless, other physical tests such as setting time, compressive and flexural strength remain to be done in future work.


This study was supported by a grant from the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) through the Fulbright African Senior Research Scholar Program 2018 – 2019 administered by the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). The research project was conducted in Oregon State University (OSU), College of Engineering, School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering (CBEE). I’m so grateful to every person who contributed to this work.


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