The production of porous brick material from diatomaceous earth and Brazil nut shell ash

E. Escalera, G. Garcia, R. Terán, R. Tegman, M. L. Antti, M. Odén

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Diatomaceous earth was mixed with Brazil nut shell ash (BNS ash) in different amounts between 0 and 30 wt% and sintered at temperatures between 750 and 950°C. The BNS ash contains 33 wt% K2O and 11 wt% CaO mainly in carbonate form. The addition of BNS ash into the diatomaceous earth caused significant changes of the microstructure after sintering. The BNS ash addition produces lightweight porous bricks with acceptable strength at lower sintering temperature. The best combination of strength and porosity was achieved for a mixture of 10 wt% of BNS ash in the diatomaceous earth sintered at 850°C. The achieved high porosity was 49%, density 1.06 g/cm3, thermal conductivity 0.20 W/(m K) and the compressive strength was 8.5 MPa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-264
Number of pages8
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SIDA. I would like to thank to Prof. Dr. Andreas Kaiser for helping with thermal conductivity measurements (DTU Energy) in Denmark. I would also like to express my gratitude to Ing. Mario Blanco (IGEMA-UMSA) for providing the diatomaceous earth and Dr. Julio Vargas for allowing us to perform the mechanical tests at the ETSFOR-UMSS in Bolivia.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Brazil nut shell ash
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • SEM
  • Thermal conductivity
  • XRD


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