The carbonation kinetics of monolithic cementing composites are strongly affected by gas transport which is, in turn, influenced by microstructural resistances and the presence of liquid water within pore networks. The non-uniform gas flow distribution within the CO2 mineralization reactor can impart mass transfer resistance in the monolith microstructure, which affects the uptake of CO2 ("carbonation") of the cementing composites. This paper demonstrates how the gas spatial distribution (velocity and flow rate; quantified by CFD analysis) and processing conditions (temperature, relative humidity, and flow rate; quantified by factorial design) affect drying and carbonation, and in turn, the engineering properties of a representative 'monolithic' carbonate-cemented concrete component (i.e., herein concrete masonry unit: CMUs, also known as concrete block). It is shown that the gas flow distribution affects drying front penetration and results in moisture and carbonation gradients within the monolith. Particularly, variations in drying kinetics caused by non-uniformity of the contacting gas velocity impose gradients in moisture saturation, which results in increasing microstructural resistance to CO2 transport. The resultant non-uniform carbonate-mineral formation (i.e., carbonate cementation), if not controlled, can produce gradients in mechanical properties and may alter failure patterns upon loading. These insights inform the optimal design of gas flow distribution systems and processing conditions within CO2 mineralization reactors for the manufacturing of low-CO2 concrete components using CO2-dilute industrial flue gas streams.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)
- Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes