Universities research rice husk ash as cement alternative

Universities research rice husk ash as cement alternative
09 July 2024

Researchers from ten universities across the globe are exploring the feasibility of using rice husk ash (RHA) in place of cement for manufacturing activities.  

The participating researchers have found the RHA has a high silica content. Therefore, when RHA is used to produce concrete, it triggers a chemical reaction with hydrates (such as calcium hydroxides). This results in the formation of supplementary products that give the mixture strength and stability, which are vital for the concrete used in construction.

This had led researchers to believe that partial use of RHA could reduce the dependence on cement in concrete, without reducing the mixture’s compressive strength and durability. In turn, this will reduce the overall carbon footprint of the concrete mixture as RHA is less carbon-intensive than cement. Machine learning techniques have been deployed by the research team, to assess the relative strength of RHA-based concrete. 

The American University of Ras Al Khaimah, or AURAK, is leading the research project on RHA and phase two of the study is currently underway. 

The study is being done by replacing cement in different quantities (five, 10 and 15 per cent) with RHA in the production of concrete to find the ideal substitution rate.

Professor Stephen Wilhite, senior vice president of academic affairs and student success at AURAK, has stated that this research is an important step in the global effort to find substitutes for carbon-intensive materials like cement.

Published under Cement News