Utilization of Sugarcane Bagasse Ash from Power Co-generation Boilers as a Supplementary Cementitious Material

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Safiki Ainomugisha
Bisaso Edwin
Bazairwe Annet


Co-generation, OPC, Physical & mechanical properties, Sugarcane bagasse ash


Concrete has been the world’s most consumed construction material, with over 10 billion tons of concrete annually. This is mainly due to its excellent mechanical and durability properties plus high mouldability. However, one of its major constituents; Ordinary Portland Cement is reported to be expensive and unaffordable by most low-income earners. Its production contributes about 5%–8% of global CO2 greenhouse emissions. This is most likely to increase exponentially with the demand of Ordinary Portland Cement estimated to rise by 200%, reaching 6000 million tons/year by 2050.  Therefore, different countries are aiming at finding alternative sustainable construction materials that are more affordable and offer greener options reducing reliance on non-renewable sources. Therefore, this study aimed at assessing the possibility of utilizing sugarcane bagasse ash from co-generation in sugar factories as supplementary material in concrete. Physical and chemical properties of this sugarcane bagasse ash were obtained plus physical and mechanical properties of fresh and hardened concrete made with partial replacement of Ordinary Portland Cement. Cost-benefit analysis of concrete was also assessed. The study was carried using 63 concrete cubes of size 150cm3 with water absorption studied as per BS 1881-122; slump test to BS 1881-102; and compressive strength and density of concrete according to BS 1881-116. The cement binder was replaced with sugarcane bagasse ash 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 30% by proportion of weight. Results showed the bulk density of sugarcane bagasse ash at 474.33kg/m3, the specific gravity of 1.81, and 65% of bagasse ash has a particle size of less than 0.28mm. Chemically, sugarcane bagasse ash contained SiO2, Fe2O3, and Al2O3 at 63.59%, 3.39%, and 5.66% respectively. A 10% replacement of cement gave optimum compressive strength of 26.17MPa. This 10% replacement demonstrated a cost saving of 5.65% compared with conventional concrete.