Technical feasibility study of utilization of industrial furnace bottom ash for clay ceramic production

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Kan Namepol


This research studied the possibility of using bottom ash to replace clay in a production of clay ceramics. Clay was collected in Maha Sarakham and bottom ash was obtained from a factory in Khonkean. The raw materials were dried at 103ºC for 24 hours, then crushed and sifted through a sieve to get particles smaller than 300 micron. The percent replacement of clay with bottom ash was tested at 0, 20 and 40 by weight. Water was added to obtain a moisture content of 23-26%. Then, the mixtures were casted in 30x60x10 mm3 acrylic molds and cured for 24 hours. Consequently, they were fired at the temperature of 400, 700 and 1000ºC using a temperature ramp rate of 1.5, 3 and 9ºC per minute. When reaching the specified temperature, the samples were fired for another 0 and 4 hours. The ceramic samples were tested for physical and mechanical properties, particle morphology and toxicity characteristic leaching for heavy metals. Results showed the temperature ramp rates of 3 and 9ºC per minute resulted in cracks. Increasing the ash ratio can assist in reducing the linear shrinkage of ceramics. The compressive strength and water absorption of ceramics have a linearly negative relationship at a 99% confidence interval. The 20%-bottom ash sample, fired at 1000ºC using the ramp rate of 1.5ºC per minute and no extended firing time, exhibited the 3.1% linear shrinkage, 11.6% water absorption and highest compressive strength of 47.5 MPa. These properties were in agreement with the diffractograms of the ceramic sample that was found christophilite, a phase of glass. Christophilite strengthens the ceramic structure. Considering the lowest energy usage in the ceramic production indicates that the replacement of 20% bottom ash and firing temperature of 700ºC are suitable and complied with the standard for production of construction bricks. The toxicity characteristics leaching procedure for the ceramics with bottom ash found that the amounts of arsenic, lead, mercury and selenium did not exceed the standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the standard of leachate from hazardous waste landfill of the Department of Industry Promotion of Thailand.


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Namepol, K. (2019). Technical feasibility study of utilization of industrial furnace bottom ash for clay ceramic production. Naresuan University Engineering Journal, 14(1), 127–139. Retrieved from
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