Pathways to commercialisation for brown coal fly ash-based geopolymer concrete in Australia

Ezzatollah Shamsaei, Owen Bolt, Felipe Basquiroto de Souza, Emad Benhelal, Kwesi Sagoe-Crentsil, Jay Sanjayan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Utilising geopolymer as a construction material has gained institutional and commercial interest over the past decade, due to its favourable emissions profile as an alternative to carbon-intensive Ordinary Portland Cement-based concrete, which currently accounts for around 7% of global carbon emissions. While significant research has been performed into the material properties of geopolymer, the commercialisation of the technology is still in its infancy, and several key barriers require rectification to facilitate more widespread adoption. This article analyses the current state of geopolymer commercialisation, paying particular attention to its commercial application in Australia, and it suggests key research areas, in particular relating to the utilisation of abundant and cheap low-quality fly ash sources such as brown coal-based fly ash, to promote its adoption and build on the momentum gained from the small scale in situ pours of geopolymer concrete. Our analysis indicated that in addition to the barriers relating to material properties, economic, social, and regulatory issues also require further inquiry. Our review also indicated that it is critical to update and improve economic analysis of geopolymer utilisation to forecast future costs of both geopolymer and concrete mixes, which are especially critical in determining any potential financial incentives for the construction industry. Moreover, it is essential to study the social attitudes affecting future geopolymer consumption and to update the regulatory standards governing geopolymer utilisation in Australia, such as the initial steps undertaken by the Low Carbon Living Cooperative Research Centre. Based on this review, it is suggested that solving these key issues would help proliferate geopolymer technology and further aid efforts to create a more environmentally sustainable construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4350
Number of pages17
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Commercialisation
  • Economic factors
  • Geopolymer concrete
  • Material properties
  • Regulatory environment
  • Social attitudes

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