Experimental Validation of the Cementation Mechanism of Wood Pellet Fly Ash Blended Binder in Weathered Granite Soil

Jebie Balagosa
Published: 3 October 2023



In response to climate change, wood pellets have been increasingly utilized as a sustainable energy source. However, their growing utilization increases the production of wood pellet fly ash (WA) by-products, necessitating alternative recycling technologies due to a shortage of discharging landfills. Thus, this research seeks to utilize WA by developing a new sustainable construction material, called wood pellet fly ash blended binder (WABB), and to validate its stabilizing performance in natural soils, namely weathered granite soil (WS). WABB is made from 50% WA, 30% ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS), and 20% cement by dry mass. WS was mixed with 5%, 15%, and 25% WABB and was tested for a series of unconfined compressive strength (qu), pH, and suction tests at 3, 7, 14, and 28 days. For the microstructural analyses, XRD, SEM, and EDS were employed. As the WABB dosage rate increased, the average qu increased by 1.88 to 11.77, which was higher than that of compacted WS without any binder. Newly cementitious minerals were also confirmed. These results suggest that the effects of the combined hydration mechanism of WABB are due to cements role in facilitating early strength development, GGBSs latent hydraulic properties, and WAs capacity to stimulate the alkaline components of WABB and soil grains. Thus, this research validates a new sustainable binder, WABB, as a potential alternative to conventional soil stabilizers.

Date Conducted

October 2023


Jebie Balagosa


Material Reuse, Stabilization


Ground Improvement