Thermal Curing and Environmental Impact of Alkali-Activated Cementitious Materials

Elien Dejager, Steffen Grunewald, Geert De Schutter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


During the production of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) clinker a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted. To improve the sustainability of concrete production, many studies were carried out to evaluate alternative binders for OPC. The use of alkali-activated cementitious materials (AAMs) reduces the amount of Portland cement clinker and a larger volume of industrial by-products such as fly ash (FA) and blast furnace slag (BFS) can be applied. The combination of an aluminosilicate precursor and an alkali activator is characterised by a slower early age strength development compared to OPC. Thermal curing of the concrete is a successful technique to overcome this drawback. Although, thermal curing promotes the early age strength development of OPC-based concrete, the strength at 28 days often is relatively lower. In terms of environmental impact of AAMs, a significant reduction in production-related CO2-emissions is possible by replacing OPC by FA and/or BFS. With a relatively small activator dosage, it was found that the CO2-emissions can be decreased by up to 85% for AAMs compared to OPC-based mixtures. In this research, the effect of the mix design and curing temperature on the early age strength development and the environmental impact of AAMs was investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSP-326: Durability and Sustainability of Concrete Structures (DSCS-2018)
EditorsVyatcheslav Falikman, Roberto Realfonzo, Luigi Coppola, Petr Hàjek, Paolo Riva
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • alkali-activated materials
  • CO2-emissions
  • mix design
  • strength development
  • thermal curing


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