In India, due to fast pace development there is a drastic growth in the iron and steel industry. As of 2017, India is one of the largest producers of crude steel in the world. This has led to drastic increase in mining activity. Mining activity is responsible for generation of wastes, which can pose threat to the environment and its habitants. However, there is also a great potential for mines wastes to be utilized in construction industry, which can become an important ingredient for sustainable and eco-friendly development. In iron and steel industry, Iron ore tailings (IOT) and slimes utilization is still an area of challenge, because of the low content of iron oxide present in them, which is unsuitable for metal extraction. Usually particle size of slimes below 1 mm is not amenable for further metal extraction through conventional pelletization techniques. In the present study waste from two different iron ore mines have been tried for their utilization as a construction material through geopolymerisation technology. As a primary consideration, shapes made in the form of common bricks were tested for their densification behavior, compressive strength and water absorption. To reduce the cost, industrial wastes like fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag, and lime were tried in different batch compositions in addition to sodium silicate and sodium hydroxide. Relationship between compressive strength values with individual ratio of silica to alumina (Si/Al), silica to alumina with iron combined (Si/Al + Fe), and calcium to silica (Ca/Si) were developed. Based on the elemental ratios, critical threshold values were established that showed significant effect on the compressive strength of the final composite.
Part of the book: Geopolymers and Other Geosynthetics