Formulating low-energy cement products

David Rust, Robert Rathbone, Kamyar C. Mahboub, Tom Robl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The study examined several formulations that may serve as a green substitute for traditional portland cement. The primary objective of the project was to produce a durable, low-energy cementitious material from flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum that was converted to hemihydrate. The study also included spent ash from circulating fluidized bed combustion (CFBC), and Class F fly ash. Hemihydrate would give the by-product cement early strength development, and the spent-bed/ultrafine ash blend would provide the by-product cement with long-term strength (gaining slowly at first) and decrease solublity. A spent-bed/ultrafine ash ratio of 40/60 produced the best compressive-strength results of the preliminary clinkerless cement blends produced in the study. The expansion of these clinkerless cements was caused by the formation of ettringite shown by X-ray diffraction (XRD). The system stopped expanding when calcium hydroxide was largely consumed. Substituting 50% of the clinkerless cement blends with hemihydrate increased short-term compressive strength 200% and reduced longer-term expansion up to 90%, enabling the production of low-energy 100% by-product cement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1131
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012


  • Energy
  • Ettringite
  • FGD gypsum
  • Fluidized combustion ash
  • Fly ash
  • Fly ash
  • Gypsum
  • Low-energy cement
  • Portland cement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials


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