Use of copper slag in the manufacture of Portland cement
Keywords:clinker, copper slag, X-ray diffraction, fluxing, optical microscopy
Given its chemical and mineralogical characteristics, copper slag, a solid industrial by-product, may serve as a partial substitute for silica and hematite in raw mixes used to manufacture Portland cement clinker. The benefits of such substitution include lower production costs and energy savings. The effect of slag-containing raw mixes on the reactivity of the CaO-Si02-Al203-Fe203 system was studied at three temperatures (1,350, 1,400 and 1,450ºC). Four mixes were used: M-1 and M-2 prepared with conventional prime materials and M-3 and M-4, in which ignimbrite and hematite were substituted for slag. In M-3 the slag replaced 45.54% of the ignimbrite and 100% of the hematite, and in M-4 100% of the mineral iron. The samples were clinkerized at 1,350, 1,400 and 1,450ºC. At 1,400ºC, clinker M-3 was found to have 10.7% less free lime than M-1, while the level in M-4 it was 15.93% lower than in M-2. The presence of the main clinker phases was confirmed by X-ray diffraction, which also showed that adding slag during c/inker manufacture slightly improves raw mix burnability without generating new unwanted phases. Consequently, recovery in cement kilns would appear to be an economically and environmentally feasible alternative to coprocessing such waste, although the industrial use of slag depends on its heavy metal content.
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