Traditional Portland cement (PC) concrete has been used for many years in the agricultural industry for the construction of silos and silage effluent storage facilities. However, the acidic nature of the silage effluent produced by silage has led to severe degradation of PC concrete which in turn has significant environmental and financial implications. This study compares the resistance of PC and geopolymer (GP) mortars and pastes to silage effluent over 12 months. The GP samples displayed increased resistance to silage effluent in terms of mass and strength loss. Analysis of microstructure suggests that the increased stability of the reaction products is the main factor behind increased silage effluent resistance when compared with PC. It was also found that blends of pulverised fuel ash (PFA) and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) with a higher PFA content may offer increased long term silage effluent resistance due to the nature of the main binder gel produced in PFA dominant systems.
- Organic acids
- Ground granulated blast-furnace slag