Research conducted by the engineering company Mannvit shows that ash from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption could be used to reinforce concrete, Fréttabladid reports. The materials in the ash are similar to those found in the ash produced when coals are burned, a substance widely used to strengthen concrete.
Photo Bjarni Brynjólfsson/Iceland Review
Technologist Karsten Iversen and geological engineer Börge Johannes Wigum conducted the research for Mannvit.
“The ash from Eyjafjallajökull has glass in it and is rich with silicates,” said Iversen. “That can have positive benefits in making concrete.” Concrete such as this is lighter and easier to handle, lasts longer and prevents alkali damages.
Glassy and silicate-rich ash has so-called Pozzolan qualities, named after a district near the volcano Versa in southern Italy. The Romans mixed calcium with ash from the volcano to use as a binder in concrete.
Today these qualities are achieved by mixing coal ash and silicon dust with cement.
Iversen and Wigum found that a five percent mix of ash into concrete depresses alkali tensity. This makes the ash an interesting ingredient for concrete, making it stronger and longer lasting.
The only problem the two technicians encountered was with the quality of the ash, as only 60 percent of the samples contained enough dust to be used as a Pozzolan ingredient. It remains to be seen whether it is possible to get enough quantity of ash to process it for concrete making.
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