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Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering

Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.    2020, Vol. 14 Issue (3) : 746-759
Prediction on CO2 uptake of recycled aggregate concrete
Kaiwen HUANG1, Ao LI1,2, Bing XIA1, Tao DING1()
1. Department of Structural Engineeving, College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
2. Shanghai International Airport Company Limited, Shanghai 200152, China
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Carbonation of concrete is a process which absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2). Recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) may own greater potential in CO2 uptake due to the faster carbonation rate than natural aggregate concrete (NAC). A quantitative model was employed to predict the CO2 uptake of RAC in this study. The carbonation of RAC and the specific surface area of recycled coarse aggregates (RCAs) were tested to verify accuracy of the quantitative model. Based on the verified model, results show that the CO2 uptake capacity increases with the increase of RCA replacement percentage. The CO2 uptake amount of 1 m3 C30 RAC within 50 years is 10.6, 13.8, 17.2, and 22.4 kg when the RCA replacement percentage is 30%, 50%, 70%, and 100%, respectively. The CO2 uptake by RCAs is remarkable and reaches 35.8%–64.3% of the total CO2 uptake by RAC when the RCA storage time being 30 days. Considering the fact that the amount of old hardened cement paste in RCAs is limited, there is an upper limit for the CO2 uptake of RCAs.

Keywords RAC      CO2 uptake      carbonation      specific surface area      RCA     
Corresponding Author(s): Tao DING   
Just Accepted Date: 23 April 2020   Online First Date: 10 June 2020    Issue Date: 13 July 2020
 Cite this article:   
Kaiwen HUANG,Ao LI,Bing XIA, et al. Prediction on CO2 uptake of recycled aggregate concrete[J]. Front. Struct. Civ. Eng., 2020, 14(3): 746-759.
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Kaiwen HUANG
Bing XIA
Fig.1  Carbonated and non-carbonated zone in RAC.
Fig.2  Two carbonation states of RAC.
Fig.3  Diagram of the calculation procedures of the CO2 uptake of RAC.
type of cement calculation formulas for m0*
OPC m 0= 6.99d
silica fume-OPC m 0=(1 β s) 6.99d
fly ash-OPC m 0= (6.99 12.44βf )d
blast furnace slag-OPC m 0= (6.99 4.09βbs )d
silica fume-fly ash-blast furnace slag-OPC m 0= (6.99 6.99βs 12.44 βf4.09βbs)d
Tab.1  Molar concentration of absorbable CO2 of NHCP
Fig.4  The simplified model of RCA in the carbonated zone.
Fig.5  The simplified model of RCA in the non-carbonated zone.
concrete type RCA replacement percentage water-cemen t ratio cement (kg) RCAs (kg) NCAs (kg) sand (kg) water (kg) water reducer agent (kg)
A0 ?0% 0.45 358 ??0 1080? 683 160 5.71
B1 30% 0.44 368 324 756 681 160 5.82
B2 50% 0.43 373 540 540 678 160 5.95
B3 70% 0.42 378 756 324 673 160 6.03
B4 100%? 0.41 387 1080? ??0 670 160 6.18
Tab.2  The mix proportion of 1 m3 C30 RAC
type coarse aggregate size (mm) bulk density (kg/m3) apparent density (kg/m3) crushing index (%) water absorption (%)
NCA 5–25 1440 2660 ?5.1 1.03
RCA 5–25 1280 2590 11.0 4.08
Tab.3  Physical properties of NCAs and RCAs
concrete type RCA replacement percentage compressive strength (MPa)
A0 ?0% 38.78
B1 30% 37.07
B2 50% 36.03
B3 70% 32.01
B4 100%? 31.22
Tab.4  Cube compressive of C30 RAC
Fig.6  The RAC specimens for accelerated carbonation experiment.
Fig.7  The carbonation test box and the specimens to be carbonated. (a) The carbonation test box; (b) the specimens to be carbonated.
Fig.8  The specimen sprayed with the phenolphthalein indicator.
concrete type carbonation depth/mm
7 days measured value 7 days predicted value 14 days measured value 14 days predicted value 28 days measured value 28 days predicted value
A0 6.5 4.9 ?8.2 7.0 ?8.8 ?9.9
B1 7.1 5.3 ?9.8 7.5 10.2 10.6
B2 7.2 5.5 10.1 7.8 11.2 11.1
B3 8.0 5.7 11.0 8.1 12.6 11.5
B4 7.4 5.9 10.5 8.4 12.0 11.8
Tab.5  The measured values and predicted values of RAC carbonation depth
Fig.9  The particle gradation of RCA.
number test object initial mass (kg) the mass covered with cement slurry (kg) the mass covered with wax (kg) surface area (m2) specific surface area (m2·kg1)
v1 cement block 2.5063 2.5236 2.5399 0.06?? 0.0239
r1 RCAs 5 5.1536 5.2960 0.5251 0.1050
r2 RCAs 5 5.1690 5.3086 0.5147 0.1029
r3 RCAs 5 5.2148 5.3758 0.5937 0.1187
Tab.6  Test results of the specific surface area of RCAs
concrete type CAa (kg) CAb1 (kg) CAb2 (kg) CA (kg)
A0 6.2 0.0 0.0 ?6.2
B1 6.8 0.7 3.1 10.6
B2 7.2 1.2 5.4 13.8
B3 7.6 1.7 7.9 17.2
B4 8.0 2.6 11.8? 22.4
Tab.7  Predictions of the CO2 uptake for C30 RAC
Fig.10  CO2 uptake of RAC with different RCA replacement percentages.
Fig.11  The influence of the RCAs storage time on the RAC CO2 uptake.
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