UWC researchers turn fly ash into safe economical building material

Researchers at UWC are developing ways to turn the huge dumps of fly ash at power stations into value-added products.

Fly ash is a by-product of the burning of powdered coal or other materials.

University of the Western Cape's Prof Leslie Petrik says they have found a way to turn fly ash into geopolymer concrete used in building material.

We are producing a fine material that bonds strongly and will not propagate cracks very easily.

Prof Leslie Petrik, Professor in the Department of Chemistry at UWC

We are saving in using cement which is a great advantage.

Petrik says when making geopolymer there's no need for any heating. She says geopolymer concrete prevents any form of corrosion.

We have a problem building with concrete because of air and salt ingress and eventually causes the metal inside the concrete to start rusting.

Prof Leslie Petrik, Professor in the Department of Chemistry at UWC

The research students at UWC are currently working on a standardisation process to make sure that the product is of the right quality.

To hear more of this interview, listen below:


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