After its successful research project of laying road with geopolymer substance, a material made using 90% fly ash content in it, NTPC-Ramagundam has now developed geopolymer coarse aggregates as a replacement to natural aggregates for use in building construction.
According to an official of NTPC-Ramagundam, they have developed the material as part of the concept of waste-to-best to make the best use of fly ash generated in the thermal power plant there. The innovative entrepreneurship is being seen as a fascinating journey of ash generated in the thermal power plants into useful material as part of the waste-to-best concept. “The increasing use of fly ash in different ways for different purposes is slowly turning it into a useful by-product of thermal power plants,” a senior official associated with the research work at the geopolymer lab of the thermal power plant said.
NTPC-Ramagundam has taken up the research project to generate aggregates using more than 90% fly ash. Recently, it has successfully developed geopolymer coarse aggregates as a replacement to natural aggregates which could be used in building construction. Technical parameters of the newly developed substance were tested by the National Council for Cement and Building Materials (NCCBM) at Hyderabad as per the Indian standards for its suitability to use in concrete works. The council has found the parameters of the material to be in the acceptable range and recommended it for use in building construction as a substitute for natural aggregates such as cement.
“Geo-polymer aggregate will not only increase fly ash utilization but also saves the environment. Further, the requirement of land for ash pond will be negligible,” an NTPC official said adding that the newly developed aggregates do not require cement for using them in concrete.
In fact, fly ash based geo-polymer mortar will act as a binding agent. The geopolymer aggregates will help in reducing carbon emission and has great potential for the reduction of water consumption, the official explained. According to one estimate, the requirement of aggregates for infrastructure development in the country is about 2,000 million tonnes every year. The aggregate developed by NTPC-Ramagundam from fly ash will help in meeting the demand to a great extent and will also reduce the impact on the environment caused by natural aggregates which require quarrying of natural stone, the official said.