Performance of Alkali-Activated Slag Concrete Masonry Blocks Subjected to Accelerated Carbonation Curing

Joud Hwalla, Mahra Al-Mazrouei, Khalood Al-Karbi, Afraa Al-Hebsi, Mariam Al-Ameri, Fatima Al-Hadrami, Hilal El-Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the effect of accelerated carbonation curing on the carbon sequestration potential, performance, and microstructure of alkali-activated slag mixes representing concrete masonry blocks (CMBs). The carbonation curing process parameters varied, including initial curing duration, carbonation curing duration, and carbonation pressure. Research findings showed that a maximum CO2 uptake of 12.8%, by binder mass, was attained upon exposing concrete to 4 h initial curing and 20 h carbonation curing at a pressure of 5 bars. The compressive strength and water absorption capacity improved with longer initial and carbonation curing durations and higher pressure. Upon subjecting to salt attack, the mass and strength of 28-day concrete samples increased, owing to the formation of Friedel’s salt and Halite. All mixes could be used as non-load-bearing CMB, with a 1-day strength greater than 4.1 MPa. Based on the global warming potential index, the carbon footprint of carbonation-cured, alkali-activated slag concrete masonry units was up to 46% lower than non-carbonation-cured counterparts. Research findings offer valuable information on the production of carbonation-cured, cement-free concrete masonry blocks to replenish natural resources, recycle industrial waste, and mitigate CO2 emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14291
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • alkali activation
  • carbonation
  • global warming potential
  • masonry
  • microstructure
  • salt attack
  • slag

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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