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High performance materials derived from industrial-waste gypsum


Foreseen Results

The proposed project will develop new technology of high performance materials which offers the potential of large scale utilisation of synthetic gypsum and provides an economic alternative to the use of more expensive binders such as hydraulic cements and lime. Two categories of materials will be developed on the basis of novel concepts as outlined below:

Blended binders will be developed from industrial waste products such as gypsum, fly ash and slag for the manufacture of a range of materials. The pozzolanic reaction of the binders will be activated by chemical admixtures. These blended systems will be used to develop new materials for mining, road making, insulating / structural and ecological applications. Lightweight aggregates will also be developed.

Self - binding reactions within the gypsum matrix will be generated by chemical activators to produce ceramic like materials at ambient temperature (or slightly elevated temperature), but without firing. A process to alter the hygroscopic nature of gypsum will also be developed. The project will develop non-hygroscopic, high density panels for structural applications and low density panels for acoustic applications.

A comprehensive classification of physical, chemical and mineralogical characteristics of waste gypsum in Eastern Europe will be carried out and a computer data base established.
The phase composition and reactivity of gypsum produced by the dry and semi-dry desulphurisation process will be determined. A socio-economic plan will be developed for the economic exploitation of the research.
Present and future plans of the power industry in many countries of Europe (East and West), such as Poland and Slovakia, indicate that in the next 100 to 200 years, the predominant raw materials used in the production of power will be solid fuels such as brown and black coal. During the combustion of these fuels, emission of pollutants such SO2, Nox, CO2, HCI, HF and hydrocarbons occur in the flue gas. These emissions pose a serious hazard to the environment and therefore, strict limits have been set by European Standards which demand intensive action for desulphurisation and denitrating of the flue gases during or after the combustion process. Several flue gas desulphurisation processes of varying efficiency and investment costs are available which yield synthetic gypsum as a bi-product. The chemical industry also produces synthetic gypsums which are very harmful to the environment since they pollute ground water with sulphates. The current state-of-the-art shows a lack of scientific understanding of the phase composition and reactivity of synthetic gypsums produced by many of the desulphurisation processes.


Sheffield Hallam University
Pond Street
S1 1WB Sheffield
United Kingdom

Participants (7)

KEMA Nederland BV
310,Utrechtseweg 310
6800 ET Arnhem
Karstans Ltd. Consulting Company
87 100 Torun
Mining and Processing Technology Institute
Blloku ' Vasil Shanto '
Research and Engineering of Ecology Equipment
61300 Brno
Technical University Kosice
042 00 Kosice
Technical University of Timisoara
2,T. Lalescu Street
1900 Timisoara
University of Mining and Metallurgy
30,Al. Mickiewicza
30 059 Kraków