Study of a Brazilian spent catalyst as cement aggregate by thermal and mechanical analysis

Research paper by J. Dweck, Carolina A. Pinto, P. M. Büchler

Indexed on: 04 Jun '08Published on: 04 Jun '08Published in: Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry


Fluidized catalytic cracking units of refineries normally use zeolite catalysts to treat heavy oil fractions. This catalyst is regenerated continuously, but due to the reduction of its activity during the process, it is partially substituted by a new catalyst make-up. The spent residue has a high content of silicon and aluminum oxides and usually presents pozzolanic properties. This paper presents the study of a Brazilian spent catalyst, which is being tested as a pozzolanic aggregate in partial substitution to cement. Pastes were prepared with 15, 20 and 25% in substitution to cement mass and analyzed after 28 days of hydration.Hydrated paste samples were analyzed by simultaneous thermogravimetry and differential thermal analysis, to quantify the calcium hydroxide consumption, as well as the content of other main hydrated cement phases. Compressive strength analysis was also performed after 28 days of hydration. Although, as spent catalyst content is increased, the pozzolanic activity is confirmed by the increase of calcium hydroxide consumption on cement mass basis, unlikely to other studied spent FCC catalysts, tested for the same purpose, the compressive strength of respective paste specimens decreases, due to the increase of other hydrated phases formation.