Project Description

The project aims at the development, production, and demonstration of light weight, fire resistant components for the construction industry. Industrial residues will be valorized and via geopolymerization turned into fire resistant materials. The waste envisioned is 'bauxite residue (also known as red mud)', bricks and tiles from construction and demolishing waste, and fly ash from biomass incineration. Most of these waste streams still don't have a decent 'high value' use. If they are not landfilled, they are downcycled. In this project, the different waste streams will be combined in the right proportions, after physico-chemical pre-treatment. The compositions of the residues are complementary in that the baxite residue is mainly an iron oxide, with some sodium, the bricks and tiles are aluminosilicates and the fly ash adds calcium (and silica and alumina) to it. Together they can be combined to an iron/aluminosilicate with a tunable amount of Ca. This mixture is then molten and quenched as a kind of slag. The result is a good precursor for geopolymers (or alkali activated cements). The blending ensures the constant composition and quality of the precursor. With the addition of Ca, the setting rate of the geopolymer can be tuned.

As such a new value chain/business model will be developed for the demolishing/construction business. For a successful continuation after the project, this value chain will be studied in great detail. To allow the production of complex shapes, a fire resistant paste for 3D printing of objects will be developed. The final application envisaged in this project will be insulating panels. The panels can be used as nonflammable insulating material for buildings or for concrete protection in tunnels. The technology is currently at a TRL of 4 and will be raised towards 8. As the slag produced has a very constant quality, it will also be a valuable precursor for other high-end applications, like a dry repair concrete or for the matrix of textile reinforced cements.

A novel high Light Reflectance Value (LRV) photocatalytic paint will be applied as a surface coating on the fire resistant component to enhance the fire safety and to act as air cleaning agent (oxidizing pollutants). The photocatalytic paint can also work in a tunnel, where the panels could be used to protect the concrete structure. A demonstration about the fire resistance will be performed on real scale.

Project Start Date: 1/12/2020

Project End Date: 30/11/2022

Requested Funding: 899139 €