The Effect of Mix Composition on the Water Absorption, Density and Compressive Strength of Rice Husk Based Geopolymers)

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1 20 5th International Conference on Environment Science and Engineering Volume 83 of IPCBEE (20) DOI: /IPCBEE. 20. V83. The Effect of Mix Composition on the Water Absorption, Density and Compressive Strength of Rice Husk Based Geopolymers) Zeynab Emdadi 1, Nilofar Asim 1, M. A. Yarmo 2, Roslinda Shamsudin 3 and M.A.Alghoul 1 1 Solar Energy Research Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia 2 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia 3 School of Applied Physics, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia Abstract. Geopolymers, or inorganic polymers, have attracted a lot of attention due to their low manufacturing temperatures (<100 C), which emits six times less CO 2 compared to standard cement. They can also utilize different waste materials as raw materials. In this study, the rice husk (RH) and rice husk ash (RHA) were selected as a pozzolan raw material to prepare geopolymers. Different ratios of Na 2 SiO 3 /NaOH, at 1, 1.5, and 2.5 were used to prepare geopolymers. The effects of raw materials percentage and Na 2 SiO 3 /NaOH ratio on water absorption, density, and the compressive strength of the prepared geopolymers were also investigated. The results showed that the compressive strength of geopolymers increases with the ratio of alkali liquid. Keywords: Compressive strength, Geopolymers, Rice husk, water absorption. 1. Introduction Geopolymer was first synthesized by Davidovits (1979) in his designation of a new class of three dimensional silico-aluminate materials [1]. Aluminosilicate geopolymers are conventionally synthesized at approximately ambient temperatures by the reaction of a solid aluminosilicate source, e.g. dehydroxylated kaolin clay (metakaolinite), with an alkali silicate solution under highly alkaline conditions [2, 3]. Geopolymers preparation can be done at low temperatures (<100 C), and their manufacturing emits six times less CO 2 compared to standard cements [4]. The materials used in geopolymer composition are mainly by-products and industrial wastes, which makes it more environmentally friendly compared to other porous ceramics. Different kinds of solid wastes and by-products, which contain silica and alumina and known as Pozzolans, could be employed in geopolymers as well. A geopolymer is an environmentally friendly material [5], attracting a lot of attention in various research fields, especially in the context of construction material [6]. Many researchers have investigated the chemical composition aspects or reaction processes in geopolymers, while others studied the mechanical properties and durability [7]. The properties of inorganic polymers depend on both the ratio of Si/Al and the types of raw material. Rice husk (RH) is a potential waste material that can be used as a raw material to prepare geopolymers. About 20% of the whole rice in the rice milling industry ended up with RH as its by-product [8]. These byproducts are regarded as a problem, as they pose a risk to the environment, it is readily available almost everywhere, and it is also highly resistant to natural degradation [9]. Rice husk ash is an alternative source for high specific area silica. In this research, Pozzolans from agricultural by-products, such as rice husk and rice husk ash were used to produce geopolymers. NaOH s concentration, weight ratio of sodium silicate solutions to NaOH, Alkali activator to + Corresponding author. Tel.: ; fax: address: 92

2 solid weight ratio, oven curing temperature, oven curing time, and water curing regime factors were selected for investigation. Their effect on geopolymer s compressive strength and water absorption will be studied. 2. Experimental Rice husk was collected from a local rice mill during milling season in Malaysia. Rice husk was treated using HNO3 [10], for use in geopolymer preparation. The Metakaloin was purchased from Burgess, USA. Optipozz Highly Reactive Metakaolin (HRM) is used in its commercial grade. Rice husk ash (RHA) was prepared using a laboratory electric furnace (CMTS, MODEL No. (B54)) at 900 C for 2 hours at a heating rate of 9 ºC/min. Later, RHA and RH were grounded using a ball mill until the mass of the fine particles were retained on a sieve size No.325 (aperture of 75 μm) at 1-3%. Sodium silicate solutions (Na 2 SiO 3 ) (10.6%Na 2 O, 26.5% SiO 2 and 62.9%H 2 O) and 12M NaOH solutions (commercial grade) were used as alkali activators. Sodium silicate solution or water glass (WG) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) were used as the solution part of the mixture. WG was used without any modification, but NaOH was diluted to different concentrations prior to use. Table 1 shows the chemical compositions of RH, RHA, MK, and WG, as determined by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis (Bruker/S8 Tiger). Table 1: Chemical composition of RH, RHA, Treated RH, MK and WG as determined by XRF (mass%) Chemical Composition % Raw RH Rice husk ash Treated RH Metakaolin Sodium silicate solution SiO Al 2 O Fe 2 O CaO MgO K 2 O SO TiO Na 2 O Others (water) The Bruker DB-Advance X-ray Diffractometer (XRD) pattern of MK, RH, RHA, and Treated RH are depicted in Fig.1. Their main crystalline composite is silicon oxide. The samples of RH and treated RH showed the crystalline SiO2 phase at about º 2θ in the tetragonal system (JCPDF file no ). The RHA peak at º 2θ in the Hexagonal system (JCPDF file no ) is related to SiO2, while the sharp peak seen in MK shows the SiO2 phase at about in the orthorhombic system of º 2θ in the (JCPDF file no ). 93

3 Fig. 1: XRD pattern of MK, RH, RHA and Treated RH. Table 2: Water absorption and Density of prepared samples Samples Sample composition (%) %Water Absorption RH RHA Treated RH MK 1hr 3hrs 6hrs 24hrs Density gr/cm 3 Description A B C D E F G H Without crack Without crack 1.3 Without crack I Without crack J Without crack K L M Preparation of geopolymers First, all the dry components, such as RH, RH treated, RHA, and MK were mixed in a container until they are all uniform. The sodium hydroxide 12 M NaOH solution and Na2SiO3 sodium silicate solutions were prepared at least 24 hours before use. The ratios of liquid (Na2SiO3 and 12MNaOH) to solid were 60:40 by weight in geopolymer pastes (Table 2). Later, the solution was poured into a container with the pre- 94

4 mixed dry components, and mixed homogeneously. After mixing, the pastes were poured into mm3 mold. The specimens were wrapped with plastic, and then cured at room temperature for 6 hrs. They were then placed in an oven at 60 C for 2 hrs. After removing samples from the mold, the specimens were cured at room temperature for a total of 3 days Test of specimens Water absorption and Density In order to determine the water absorption and density of specimens, the samples were dried at 105 C for 24 hours, and their weight was determined as the initial weight (W i ). A sample was then immersed in water, and its saturated weight was reported as W f. The density of the samples was measured using Electronic Densimeter (model MD-300S). The density and water absorption of the prepared samples are tabulated in Table Results and Discussion Effect of materials ratio on water absorption From Table 2, after taking into account the different ratio of materials, it can be seen that samples F, G, H, I and J were in good condition after the water absorption test for the other specimens test. The result showed that sample G, which has a higher percentage of RH in its composition, has higher water absorption, although sample H, which contain treated RH, showed high water absorption as well. This could be attributed to the presence of surface hydroxyl groups. The results showed that choosing the right ratio between RH and RHA is very important in preventing cracks in the samples. Effect of quantity of alkali liquid on compressive strength The samples with better performance and water absorption were selected for compressive strength test by PC base automatic 5000 KN compression machine model ADS 500/EL. The test was done in accordance to the ASTM C39 [11]. The compressive strength of geopolymer specimens, which were cured at 60 C in an oven for 2 hours and aged for 3 days, is shown in Table 3. Table 3: Compressive strength with different quantity of liquid alkali Number Sample composition (%) Compressive Na2SiO3/ Treated RH RHA MK strength MPa NaOH RH F G H I J F G H I J F G H I J The maximum compressive strength is related to the ratio of Na2SiO3/NaOH at 2.5, among others. Also, the % 59.5 RHA, %25.5 Treated RH, and % MK resulted in a maximum compressive strength of (5.27 MPa), whereas the % 25.5 RHA, % 59.5 Treated RH, and % MK resulted in the minimum strength of (3.3 MPa). It can be clearly seen that the compressive strength of sample mixed with RHA, treated RH, and MK at three different ratios of Na2SiO3/NaOH (see Fig. 2) were much higher than those using raw RH to replace treated RH. Meanwhile, using treated RH instead of RH might be better in preventing fungi as well. The 95

5 compressive strength of specimens exhibited similar trends as density. The results showed the opposite trend for water absorption with the higher compressive strength and density. 4. Conclusions Fig. 2: Compressive strength of prepared samples according the alkali liquid ratio The results of this investigation revealed that the concentration of alkali activator influences the compressive strength of geopolymeric specimens. The compressive strength of geopolymers increased with the ratio of alkali liquid. The best strength was achieved using a 12 M NaOH solution. The maximum compressive strength belongs to samples containing % 59.5 RHA, %25.5 Treated RH, and % MK. The results showed that oven curing of the specimens at 60 C is the optimum temperature for curing. The maximum water absorption was received from the specimen containing % 68 RH, %17 RHA, and % MK. 5. Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank the DLP and GGPM Research Funds for providing financial support for this study. 6. References [1] J. Davidovits, Global warming impact on the cement and aggregates industries, World Resource Review. 1994, 6, [2] V. F. Barbosa and K. J. MacKenzie, Thermal behaviour of inorganic geopolymers and composites derived from sodium polysialate, Materials Research Bulletin. 2003, 38, [3] J. Davidovits, Therm Anal. 1991, 37, [4] P. Duxson, J. L. Provis, G. C. Lukey, and J. S. Van Deventer, The role of inorganic polymer technology in the development of green concrete, Cement and Concrete Research. 2007, 37, [5] D. Hardjito and B. Rangan, Development and Properties of Low-calcium Fly Ash-based Geopolymer Concrete, [6] H.-J. Chen, T. Yen, and K.-H. Chen, Use of building rubbles as recycled aggregates, Cement and concrete research. 2003, 33, ,. [7] J. Wongpa, K. Kiattikomol, C. Jaturapitakkul, and P. Chindaprasirt, Compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, and water permeability of inorganic polymer concrete, Materials & Design. 2010, 31, [8] H.-Y. Chan, S. B. Riffat, and J. Zhu, Review of passive solar heating and cooling technologies, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2010, 14, [9] A. Kusbiantoro, M. F. Nuruddin, N. Shafiq, and S. A. Qazi, The effect of microwave incinerated rice husk ash on the compressive and bond strength of fly ash based geopolymer concrete, Construction and Building Materials , [10] Z. Emdadi, N. Asim, M. A. Yarmo, and K. Sopian, Effect of Chemical Treatments on Rice Husk (RH) Water Absorption Property. International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Applications. 20, 6(4). [11] American Society Testing Materials, Standard test method for compressive strength of cylindrical concrete specimens, ASTM C39/C39M

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