Waste phosphogypsum (PG) was treated with citric acid, oxalic acid, sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate to reduce the contaminants in the material and render the material applicable for other applications. The chemical composition revealed that the material was laden with contaminants such as fluorides and phosphorous which have a detrimental effect on the development of material strength. Citric acid was the best leaching reagent to reduce the radionuclides in PG and it was selected as the leaching reagent to treat PG. The chemical composition of both the raw PG and treated PG showed that there was insufficient pozzolans in the materials to trigger the pozzolanic reaction for strength development. Therefore the PG had to be stabilized with fly ash and lime. The optimum mix ratio of the raw PG composite that yielded the highest UCS was made up of 50% raw PG and 30% FA, while 30% treated PG and 50% FA yielded the highest strength. The variation in strengths between the raw and treated PG was due to differences in the microstructure of the materials and the particle size distribution. The strength obtained met the minimum requirements for the material to be used in bulk as building construction elements.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Waste Management and Disposal