Agricultural Solid Waste as Source of Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Developing Countries

Suvash Chandra Paul, Peter B. K. Mbewe, Sih Ying Kong, Branko Šavija

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29 Citations (Scopus)
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Concrete production utilizes cement as its major ingredient. Cement production is an important consumer of natural resources and energy. Furthermore, the cement industry is a significant CO2 producer. To reduce the environmental impact of concrete production, supplementary cementitious materials such as fly ash, blast furnace slag, and silica fume are commonly used as (partial) cement replacement materials. However, these materials are industrial by-products and their availability is expected to decrease in the future due to, e.g., closing of coal power plants. In addition, these materials are not available everywhere, for example, in developing countries. In these countries, industrial and agricultural wastes with pozzolanic behavior offer opportunities for use in concrete production. This paper summarizes the engineering properties of concrete produced using widespread agricultural wastes such as palm oil fuel ash, rice husk ash, sugarcane bagasse ash, and bamboo leaf ash. Research on cement replacement containing agricultural wastes has shown that there is great potential for their utilization as partial replacement for cement and aggregates in concrete production. When properly designed, concretes containing these wastes have similar or slightly better mechanical and durability properties compared to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) concrete. Thus, successful use of these wastes in concrete offers novel sustainable materials and contributes to greener construction as it reduces the amount of waste, while also minimizing the use of virgin raw materials for cement production. This paper will help the concrete industry choose relevant waste products and their optimum content for concrete production. Furthermore, this study identifies research gaps which may help researchers in further studying concrete based on agricultural waste materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1112
Number of pages20
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Part of Special Issue "Sustainability in Construction and Building Materials"


  • Agricultural waste
  • Bamboo leaf ash
  • Oil palm ash
  • Rice husk ash
  • Sugarcane bagasse ash

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