Investigation into the use of rice husk ash for concrete masonry block production to improve cost and energy performance of buildings
This research seeks to reuse waste materials, which are usually dumped in landfills and constitute environmental pollution, to partially replace Portland cement for the production of concrete masonry blocks. Cement manufacture presently contributes to 7% of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) production. The need for sustainable materials is therefore important because of the growing concerns for the environment resulting from the constant and excessive use of cement. Nigeria currently suffers from a deficit of housing that is projected to reach 40 million by 2020.
With over 190 million residents, 60% of Nigeria’s population resides in urban areas. Most of these people require housing to survive and cannot get it due to the high cost of buildings. In addition, the use of sandcrete blocks contributes in a major way to the cost of buildings as they make up the walling materials in many countries like Nigeria.
The scarcity of affordable housing has led to a proliferation of homeless people, slums dwellings and increased levels of poverty as the major percentage of the population of the country is in the low-income group. Furthermore, Nigeria is presently the 13th largest rice producer in the entire world and the top rice producer and consumer in Africa with 9.8 million tonnes produced in 2017.
The use of rice husk ash in construction will not only reduce the amount of cement being utilized for building, it could invariably reduce landfill wastes from rice mills and also reduce the cost of buildings, which is beneficial to developing countries like Nigeria with high cost of cement, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from cement production. This will, therefore, promote sustainable development and encourage the proliferation of sustainable communities.