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Washington State University National Center for Transportation Infrastructure Durability & Life-Extension (TriDurLE)

Project Title

Freeze-thaw durability and multi-scale characterization of biochar concrete


Dr. Xianming Shi
Dr. Ayumi Manawadu

Project Description

Biochar has recently been identified as a promising supplementary cementitious material (SCM) for achieving carbon neutrality in concrete construction. Biochar is produced by subjecting biomasses to thermomechanical conversion. By incorporating biochar into concrete, agricultural and forestry wastes are used to sequester carbon instead of being disposed of, which reduces the amount of CO2 and methane released into the atmosphere.
Concrete incorporating biochar as SCM in small proportions (<5%) has shown comparable or greater flexural strengths, mode-I fracture resistance, and compressive strengths. The mechanical characteristics of biochar concrete have been evaluated extensively. However, there is a lack of understanding and investigations on the freeze-thaw durability of biochar concrete. This aspect is critical because biochar is a highly porous material that may either make the concrete vulnerable to freeze/thaw (F/T) cycles or benefit the F/T durability of the concrete.
In this context, this project aims to understand the F/T behavior of different types of biochar concrete and identify potential methods to improve their F/T resistance. To achieve this goal, the study aims to: (1) Evaluate the long-term freeze-thaw durability of various biochar or air-entrained biochar concrete; (2) Model and analyze the influence of absorption on the F/T behavior of biochar concrete; (3) Predict the service life of biochar concrete; (4) Identify micro- or meso-scale characteristics influencing the macroscopic behavior of the biochar concrete.

Project Details

Project Visuals

Dr. Xianming Shi - PI
Dr. Ayumi Manawadu - Co-PI