Circular Bioeconomy in the Amazon Rainforest: Evaluation of Açaí Seed Ash as a Regional Solution for Partial Cement Replacement

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Sustainability (Switzerland)
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Rocha J.H.A.
de Siqueira A.A.
de Oliveira M.A.B.
Castro L.D.S.
Caldas L.R.
Monteiro N.B.R.
Toledo Filho R.D.
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© 2022 by the authors.Açaí seed ash (ASA) is a waste product from processing the açaí fruit and burning the seeds for cogeneration purposes. The present study evaluated the use of ASA from the Brazilian Amazon as partial Portland cement replacement in self-leveling mortars (SLM) for social-interest buildings. The fresh and hardened state properties of mortars were accessed with 5% and 10% ASA content, and a life cycle assessment was performed to evaluate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The maximum transport distance to enable ASA as a building material was determined by a sensitivity analysis, and specific carbon-efficiency indicators for SLM were proposed and validated. The results showed that using up to 10% ASA as cement replacement was technically and environmentally feasible since the mechanical performance was maintained and GHG emissions decreased up to 8%. The sensitivity analysis revealed that transport efficiency is crucial for ASA applications far from its production area; therefore, it should be evaluated as a regional building material. The work brings an important contribution to regional sustainable development by assessing the characteristics of a residual material and proposing the reuse of waste, reducing GHG emissions from the cement industry, and stimulating the circular bioeconomy in the Brazilian Amazon region.
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