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Supplementary Cementitious Materials as Sustainable Partial Replacement for Cement in the Building Industry

Authors: Nwakaego C. Onyenokporo


Cement is the most extensively used construction material due to its strength and versatility of use. However, the production of Portland cement has become unsustainable because of high energy usage, reduction of natural non-renewable resources and emissions of greenhouse gases. Production of cement contributes to anthropogenic greenhouse gases emissions annually. The growing concerns for the environment resulting from this constant and excessive use of cement has therefore raised the need for more green materials and technology. The use of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) is considered as one of the many alternatives suited to address this issue and serve as a sustainable partial replacement for cement in construction. This paper will examine the reuse of these waste materials to partially replace Portland cement. It provides a critical review of literature analysing various supplementary cementitious materials which are applicable in the building industry as either partial replacement for cement or aggregates. These materials have been grouped based on source into industrial wastes, domestic/general wastes, and agricultural wastes. The reuse of these waste materials could potentially reduce the negative effects of cement production and reduce landfills which constitute an environmental nuisance. This paper seeks to inform building industry professionals and researchers in the field on the applicability of these waste materials in construction.

Keywords: Cement, greenhouse gases, landfills, sustainable, waste materials.

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