Morphological and Strength Properties of Tanjung Bin Coal Ash Mixtures for applied in Geotechnical Engineering Work

Abd. Rahim Awang, Aminaton Marto, Ahmad Maher Makhtar


In Malaysia, coal has been used as a raw material to generate electricity since 1988. In the past, most of the wastage of coal burning especially the bottom ash was not managed properly as it was dumped in the waste pond and accumulated drastically.This paper focuses on some properties of coal ash mixtures (fly  ash and bottom ash mixtures) from Tanjung Bin power plant. The characteristics studied were morphological properties, compaction behaviour and strength properties. Strength properties of coal ash mixtures are carried out by conducting direct shear test and unconfined compression test. Besides, morphology and mineralogy of coal ash mixtures are studied using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD). The coal ash mixtures were compacted at 95% of maximum dry density, sealed and cured for 0, 14, and 28 days before they were analysed for shear strength, morphological and mineralogical analyses. The shear strength of coal ash mixtures varied depending on the fly ash compositions. The maximum shear strength was obtained at mixture with 50%FA: 50%BA and the value increased with curing periods. The friction angle obtained ranged from 27° to 37°. Morphological analysis showed that the number of irregular shaped particles increased confirming change in material type with curing period. From mineralogical analysis, the crystalline compounds present in Tanjung Bin coal ash were Mullite, Quartz, Calcium Phosphide, Calcite, Cristobalite and Hematite. It can be concluded that the coal ash mixtures can advantageously be applied in the construction of embankments, roads, reclamation and fill behind retaining structures.


Coal ash mixtures; Fly ash; Bottom ash; Morphological; Shear strength

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Published by INSIGHT - Indonesian Society for Knowledge and Human Development