PMI/PCCM SEMINAR SERIES SPRING 2023: Yaghoob Farnam, Drexel University

Mar 8, 2023, 12:00 pm1:00 pm
Bowen Hall Auditorium 222


Event Description

Thermochemical-guided sintering framework to convert waste coal combustion ash to value-added porous ceramics as construction lightweight aggregates.

Abstract: Every year near 35 million tons of waste coal combustion ash (W-CCA) are deposited in the US as solid wastes which constitute environmental and economical burdens to our nation. This seminar will cover some of our efforts at the Drexel ASIM group to develop a sustainable solid waste management practice to recycle W-CCA to construction lightweight aggregate (LWA). Over the last decade, there have been efforts to produce LWA from urban and industrial wastes. However, the efforts for production of LWA from W-CCA have faced many challenges due to the lack of a robust working manufacturing process that considers daily variations in chemical and physical properties of W-CCA. This presentation will summarize our work to systematically understand the required conditions for a successful production of synthetic LWA from W-CCA; and accordingly develop a thermodynamics-based sintering technology for this purpose. The technology is developed by (1) looking at the chemical interactions between various types and dosages of CCA and fluxing agents to produce LWA, (2) identifying the thermodynamics of phase equilibria as a function of temperature during sintering as dosage and compositions of CCA vary and (3) preparing a robust blending, pelletizing and sintering guideline calibrated with experimental works. Synthetic LWA is a fast-growing industry in the US, and it can provide a sustainable market for W-CCA based LWA. 

Bio: Amir Farnam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Drexel University and the director of the Drexel Advanced and Sustainable Infrastructure Materials (ASIM) group. Dr. Farnam’s research integrates civil engineering, materials science, and advanced characterization techniques to enhance durability, resilience, and sustainability of civil engineering infrastructure. He has authored more than 70 papers and technical documents, and two book chapters with more than 2300 citations. To date, Dr. Farnam has received over $10 M (over $5 M as PI) for his research projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of Education, Department of Community and Economic Development, United Soybean Board, Compass Minerals, and PennDOT. He is the recipient of Drexel COE 2021 outstanding early-career award and 2023 outstanding innovation award. His professional membership includes TRB, ACI, ACerS, AEWG, ASCE, ASEE, and ASTM organizations.

All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.