Shen-Chih Hu, Shao-Hua Hu, Yen-Pei Fu, Shen-Fung Sie


Paper sludge is a major waste by-product of the paper industry. Its disposal creates serious problems, as approximately 30% of treated sludge is not flammable. In this study, artificial lightweight aggregates (ALWAs) were synthesized from paper sludge by co-sintering with H3BO3. H3BO3 acts as a flux to lower the sintering temperature below 900 °C, with co-melting occurring during the procedure. The decomposition gas is sealed within the ALWA during the glassy phase to form a porous structure. Water absorption, apparent porosity, bulk density, compressive strength, and weight loss after rinsing with Na2SO4 were tested to understand the physical properties of the manufactured ALWAs. The optimal method suggested is co-sintering with 18% H3BO3 flux at 890 °C for 30 min. The tested properties mentioned above gave the following results: 4.64 %, 2.77 %, 0.6 g/cm3, 13.2 MPa, and < 0.1 %, respectively. The ALWAs produced in this study have been compared to commercially available lightweight aggregates – Lytag and Arlita – with the examined ALWAs possessing better qualities than Lytag. Water absorption and compressive strength of ALWAs in this study met government requirements of pre-stressed concrete necessary for civil works, and could make useful building material.


Paper sludge; Lightweight aggregate; H3BO3; Co-melting

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