Pozzolanic Materials: Eco Friendly Substitute of Cement Ingredients

Pozzolana is a globally popular word and mostly used in construction industries nowadays. Pozzolana is volcanic ash which is used as a substitute of cement. Pozzolana is one of the pozzolanic materials which contain siliceous and aluminous mineral substance.

Accordingly, to the sources of origin, pozzolanic materials are classified as natural or artificial. Pozzolanic materials such as fly ash, rice husk, silica flume, etc. are added in ordinary Portland cement, to produce pozzolana Portland cement. Pozzolanic materials help in reducing the production of OPC, which in turn reduces the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Here we have given brief information on pozzolanic materials and their types.

Also Read: Pros & Cons of Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC) Over Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)
Courtesy - UVIC

Brief History of Pozzolanic Materials

The word pozzolan comes from the town Pozzuoli near Naples, Italy, where there are still extensive beds of pozzolanic materials. Romans in ancient times produced a hydraulic binder by mixing lime with soil, which contained pozzolana, i.e. pozzolanic ash (volcanic ash). In ancient times, pozzolan was used to enhance the properties of the lime, mortar and concrete.

Types of Pozzolanic Materials

Pozzolanic materials can be divided into two categories according to the source of origin, natural and artificial. Naturally occurring pozzolanic materials are found in abundance at very few places. Hence, their artificial alternatives were found out.

01. Naturally Occurring Pozzolanic Materials:

Natural pozzolanic materials come from the volcanic mineral deposits and sedimentary origin. They include:

(a) Clays and shales:

  • Montmorillonite types
  • Kaolinite types
  • Illite types

(b) Opaline materials:

  • Opaline shales
  • Diatomaceous earths
  • Cherts

(c) Volcanic tuffs and pumicites:

  • Rhyolitic types
  • Andesitic types
  • Phonolitic types
  • Basaltic types

Generally, natural pozzolanic materials require grinding to a high degree of fineness to make them suitable for use in concrete and particularly with cement. Pumicites are an exceptional pozzolanic material which has a high degree of fineness. Natural pozzolans can be further improved by the addition of chemicals such as alkalis during the calcining process.

Also Read: Different Types of Cement and Their Purposes

02. Artificial Pozzolanic Materials:

Artificial pozzolanic materials are the by-products or wastage from the industries. They include:

(a) Fly ash

(b) Silica fume

(c) Powdered brick

(d) Burnt oil shale

(e) Granulated Blast furnace slag

(f) Rice husk ash

Fly ash is the most commonly used pozzolanic material in India, as it is available in abundance. There are many thermal power plants in India, which produce tonnes of fly ash, which was dumped initially. But due to its pozzolanic property, now it is used in the production of pozzolana Portland cement. Granulated blast furnace slag and rice husk ash are other popular pozzolanic materials in India.

Pozzolanic materials are now globally used in the production of pozzolana Portland cement. Replacing cement with an eco-friendly alternative helps in reducing the amount of carbon dioxide releasing in the atmosphere. This ultimately helps in controlling the global warming. Portland pozzolana cement has a low heat of hydration, which enables the civil engineers to use it in mass concreting projects.

Also Read:

Challenging Site Conditions – Problems and Uses of Special Cements
11 Must-Know Points to Check on a Cement Bag Before Buying It
Material Buying Guide for Cement
4 Things That Can Prevent the Wastage of Cement

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Comments (2)

  1. This information is good one.
    Since I am related to construction would like to know mixing ratio of pozolana with cement to have same strength as that of cement

    1. Dear Aamir
      Thank you for contacting gharpedia.

      The mixing ratio of pozzolana materials such as flyash, slag silica fumes etc. with cement should not be less than 10 % and not more than 30 % by weight of cement. With that, you can achieve the same strength as that of cement. Normally, most of the manufacturers usually add this pozzolanic material during manufacturing of cement. Therefore, you need not add 20 to 30% or any additional pozzolanic materials otherwise the property of cement or concrete will change. In RMC plant also, plant operator adds pozzolanic materials. So, you need not add any extra cement there too. But sometimes RMC plant owners use even more than 30% and you should be cautious to check their mix design and do not get cheated by low quote. Summary, hence you can add as above in OPC but not in PPC.

      Thanking You
      Gharpedia Team

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