Value-Added Use of Milled Mixed-Color Waste Glass as a Supplementary Cementitious Material in Environmentally Friendly and Energy-Efficient Concrete Building Construction
Concrete, a primary building construction material, is the world’s most consumed man-made material. About 500 million tons of concrete were consumed in the United States in 2005. Production of cement (the binder in concrete) is an energy-intensive process and it contributes about 5 percent to global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Production of each ton of cement results in the emission of 1 ton of CO2 to the atmosphere.
Technova Corporation proposes to reduce the environmental and energy impact of concrete production, and to improve the performance and economics of concrete, through particle replacement of cement with milled waste glass. In 2007 about 13.6 million tons of waste glass were generated in the United States, and 76 percent of this glass was disposed of in landfills. The bulk of waste glass, which can be collected in mixed colors, has limited markets. Mixed-color waste glass, however, offers desirable chemical composition and reactivity for use as a supplementary cementitious material for enhancing the chemical stability, pore system characteristics, moisture resistance, and durability of concrete.
To realize this potential, waste glass needs to be milled to micro-scale particle size for accelerating its beneficial chemical reactions in concrete. An exploratory study was conducted in the course of preparing the proposal for this SBIR project that confirmed the potential of milled mixed-color waste glass as replacement for approximately 20 percent of cement to enhance the structure and properties of concrete. Preliminary environmental, energy, and cost analyses point at the broad benefits that can be realized through large-scale implementation of the technology. There is a favorable match between the amount of waste glass that is disposed of in landfills and the amount of cement consumed in building construction for large-scale implementation of the technology.
The environmental, energy, and cost benefits of the technology can be further improved because the technical benefits of milled (mixed-color) waste glass can enable effective use of demolished concrete as aggregate in new concrete building construction. The goal of this project is to identify the optimum particle size and dosage of milled mixed-color waste glass for use as partial replacement of cement in concrete, and to quantify the impact of the milled waste glass on the structure (chemical composition and pore system characteristics) and properties (mechanical performance, moisture resistance, dimensional stability, and durability) of concrete. The environmental, energy, and economic benefits of recycling mixed-color waste glass in concrete also will be analyzed further, and the competitive market position of milled waste glass as a supplementary cementitious material for use in concrete building construction will be assessed.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.