Untreated coffee husk ashes used as flux in ceramic tiles


The agro-industrial activities are responsible for the production of large amounts of solid wastes, which, so far, have found scarce reuse alternatives. Among the former, coffee bean beneficiation generates an equal amount of coffee husks whose highest reuse potential is as fuel. The resulting ashes are frequently an object of illegal covert disposal and a serious source of environmental impact. However, coffee husk ashes (CHA) are particularly rich in alkaline and alkaline-earth metals, and might be adequate to replace the traditional feld-spars, which are used in high content as fluxes in clay-based ceramic formulations but are becoming scarce and costly. In this work, the fluxing effect of CHA additions to an industrial clay-based mixture was evaluated. Based on the characterization results and the mullite-silica-leucite phase diagram, additions of 5 to 20 wt.% CHA were made to the clay-based mixture and the resulting compositions were evaluated after sintering at temperatures between 1100 and 1200 degrees C (60 min soaking time). The results obtained show that firing temperatures near 1180 degrees C and similar to 10 wt.% CHA addition lead to linear shrinkage, water absorption and flexural strength values that fall within the range specified by floor tile standards (NBR 13817, EN 176 and ISO 13006), requiring no significant changes in processing parameters. Coffee husk ashes can thus advantageously replace feldspars in the role of fluxing material, with the potential to reduce not only natural ceramic raw material consumption, but also production and landfill costs as well as waste disposal area requirements. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Chemistry; Materials Science; Mineralogy


Acchar, W; Dultra, EJV; Segadaes, AM

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