Effects of unconventional fly ashes on cementitious paste properties

Ying Wang, Lisa Burris, R. Douglas Hooton, Christopher R. Shearer, Prannoy Suraneni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The availability of fly ash for concrete has decreased due to the shutdowns of coal-fired power plants. Alternatives to conventional fly ash are needed to ensure sustainable and durable concrete. In this study, the impacts of numerous unconventional fly ashes – reclaimed, beneficiated off-spec, and marginal fly ashes on early and later-age properties of cementitious paste were assessed. Heat release characteristics, bulk resistivity, compressive strength, calcium hydroxide content and bound water content were studied. “Unconventional” fly ash performance was compared to conventional fly ashes, inert materials and a cement control. Substantial differences between Class C and Class F fly ashes were observed, even for unconventional fly ashes. The fly ash CaO content is positively correlated with several early-age paste properties, however, certain other properties did not show significant early-age differences based on fly ash type. Class F fly ashes showed significantly higher bulk resistivity at 91-days, while Class C fly ashes showed higher bound water contents. All tested unconventional fly ashes were reactive, contributed to strength development, and did not negatively affect cement hydration. Some fly ashes resulted in properties that varied significantly from those expected for conventional fly ashes, but there did not appear to be a simple correlation between a fly ash being either off-spec, marginal, reclaimed, or beneficiated and its performance being different from what is expected from similar class fly ashes. The results suggest that fly ash specifications need to be broadened to include unconventional fly ashes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104291
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Beneficiation
  • Fly ash
  • Marginal
  • Off-spec
  • Specification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of unconventional fly ashes on cementitious paste properties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this