Towards sustainable concrete: Cement replacement using Egyptian cornstalk ash

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The environmental impact of cement production has fostered several attempts for cement replacement within the concrete industry especially using agricultural wastes. More specifically, several agricultural waste ashes have shown good pozzolanic reaction that works in favor of concrete production. On the other side, cornstalk is considered one of the widely available bi-products in Egypt that produces heavy pollution from its dumping. However, limited research has been presented on the applicability of using cornstalk ash as cement replacement for concrete production. As such, this study investigates the feasibility of producing cornstalk ash from the Egyptian stock and its applicability as a partial replacement for cement in concrete production. Three different cement replacement ratios (by weight) have been tested, 5 %, 10 %, and 15 %, and the results of fresh (workability) and hardened (compressive, flexural, and splitting strength) properties are reported. Moreover, the influence of changing the cement grade along with the cornstalk ash replacement on the short- and long-term compressive strength has been investigated. Finally, the impact of using cornstalk ash as cement replacement on permeability has been investigated as an indication of the expected durability behavior. The presented work is considered a gate opener for sustainable applications of different agricultural wastes produced in Egypt.