Progress on the Use of Rice Husk Ash (RHA) as a Construction Material in Nigeria

  • Abdulhameed Umar Abubakar Civil Engineering Department, EMU
Keywords: Rice husk ash, amorphous, crystalline, optimum temperature, concrete, construction.


Research on the use of Rice Husk Ash (RHA) in cement, concrete and mortar has been explored in different fronts in Nigeria with encouraging results. RHA is composed of silica, alumina, iron oxide, calcium oxide and some traces of other compounds. The combustion of RHA at optimum temperature established by researchers produces either amorphous or crystalline ash depending on the combustion temperature and type of burning. This paper tries to bring under one umbrella documented research reported in literature on the use of RHA in construction in Nigeria. Physical and chemical properties; consistency, setting time and flow of mixed paste are reported. Combustion process and optimum temperature has also been exclusively reported. Cement replacement with RHA, strength results on concrete, mortar, bricks and blocks; other properties reported are flexural and tensile strength, sorptivity and coefficient of water absorption.


[1] Natarajan, E., Nordin, A. and Rao, A.N. (1998) “Overview of Combustion and Gasification of Rice Husk in Fluidized Bed Reactors” Biomass and Bioenergy, Vol. 14 No (5/6) pp. 540-545
[2]FAO (2010) “FAO Rice Monitor” Vol. XIII Issue 2 available at
[3] Oyetola, E.B. and Abdullahi, M. (2006) “The Use of Rice Husk Ash in Low-Cost Sandcrete Block Production” Leonardo Electronic Journal of Practices and Technologies, Vol. 8 pp. 58-70
[4] Fabiyi, J.S. (2013) “Suitability of Portland Cement and Rice Husk Ash Pozzolan Systems for Cement Bonded Composites Production” J. Mater. Environ. Sci. 4(6) pp. 848-854
[5] Detwiler, R.J., Bhatty, J.T. and Bhattacharja, S. (1996) “Research and development Bulletin RD 112” Portland Cement Association
[6] Papadakis, V.G. and Tsimas, S. (2002) “Supplementary Materials in Concrete: Efficiency and Design” Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 32
[7] Practical Action, Technical Brief (2000) Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development, Rugby UK.
[8] Saraswathy,V. and Ha-Won, S. (2007) “Corrosion Performance of RHA Blended Concrete” Construction and Building Materials, Gale group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. Retrieved on 23/6/2014
[9] Chindaprasirt, P., Kanchandaa, P., Sathonsaowaphaka, A. and Caob, H. T. (2007) “Sulfate Resistance of Blended Cements containing Fly Ash and Rice Husk Ash” Construction and Building Materials, 21(6) pp. 1356-1361
[10] Coutinho, J.S. (2002) “The combined benefits of CPF and RHA in improving the durability of concrete structures” Cement and Concrete Composites. 25(1) pp. 51-59
[11] Bui, D.D., Hu, J. and Stroeven, P. (2005) “Particle size effect on the strength of rice husk ash blended gap-graded Portland cement concrete” Cement and Concrete Composites, 27 pp. 357-366
[12] Abalaka, A.E. and Okoli, O.G. (2013b) ‘Influence of water-binder ratio on normal strength concrete with rice husk ash” International Journal of Sciences, Vol. 2 pp. 28-36
[13] Ephraim, M.E., Akeke, G.A. and Ukpata, J.O. (2012) “Compressive Strength of Concrete with Rice Husk Ash as Partial Replacement of Ordinary Portland Cement” Scholarly Journal of Engineering Research, Vol. 1(2) pp. 32-36
[14] Akeke, G.A., Ephraim, M.E., Akobo, I.Z.S. and Ukpata, J.O. (2013) “Structural Properties of Rice Husk Ash Concrete” International Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 3 pp. 57-62
[15] Oyekan,G.L. and Kamiyo, O.M. (2011) “A Study on the Engineering Properties of Sandcrete Blocks Produced with Rice Husk Ash Blended Cement” Journal of Engineering and Technology Research Vol. 3(3) pp. 88-98
[16] Abalaka, A.E. and Okoli, O.G. (2013) “Comparative Effects of Air and water Curing on Concrete containing Optimum Rice Husk Ash Replacement” Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences, 4(1) pp. 60-65
[17] Andrade, L.B., (2004) “Methodology of assessment to use of bottom ash of thermoelectric power plants as aggregate in concrete”. M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Civil Engineering Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil [in Portuguese]
[18] Yetgin, S. and Cavder, A., (2006) “Study of effects of natural pozzolan on properties ofcement Mortars” J Mater Civ. Eng, ASCE Vol. 18 (6) pp. 813-816
[19] Dabai, M.U., Muhammad, C., Bagudo, B.U. and Musa, A. (2009) “Studies on the Effect of Rice Husk Ash as Cement Admixture” Nigerian Journal of Basic and Applied Science, 17(2) pp. 252-256 available online at
[20] Govindarao, V.M. (1980) “Utilization of Rice Husk. A Preliminary Analysis” J. Sci. Ind. Res. 39 pp. 495-515
[21] Adisa, O.K. (2013) “Economy of Rice Husk Ash for Low-Cost Housing Delivery in Nigeria” Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Vol. 7 No. 11 pp. 1464-1470
[22] Nehdi, M., Duquette, J. and El Damatty, A., (2003) “Performance of Rice Husk Ash produced using a New Technology as a mineral admixture in concrete” Cement and Concrete Research, pp. 1203-1210
[23] Mehta, P.K. and Monteiro, P.J.M. (2004) “Concrete, Microstructure, Properties and Materials”, University of Technology Press.
[24] Ramezanianpour A.A, Malhotra V.M. (1995). Effect of curing on the compressive strength, resistance to chloride-ion penetration and porosity of concretes incorporating slag, fly ash, or silica fume, Cement and concrete composites 17 (2): 125– 133.
[25] Cisse, I.K. and Laquerbe, M. (2000) “Mechanical Characterization of Filler Sandcretes with Rice Husk Ash Additions; Study Applied to Senegal, 30(1) pp. 13-18
[26] Olamide, O. and Oyewale, F.A. (2012) “Characterization of Rice Husk via Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer for Optimal Silica Production” International Journal of Science and Technology, Vol. 2 No. 4
[27] Usman, A.M., Raji, A. and Waziri, N.H. (2014) “Characterization of Girei Rice Husk Ash for Silica Potential” IOSR-JESTFT, Vol. 8 Issue 1 pp. 68-71
[28] Otaru, A.J., Ameh, C.U., Abdulkareem, A.S., Odigure, J.O. and Okafor, J.O. (2013) “Development and Characterization of Adsorbent from Rice Husk Ash to Bleach Vegetable Oils” IOSR-Journal of Applied Chemistry, Vol. 4 Issue 2 pp. 42-49
[29] Oyekan,G.L. and Kamiyo, O.M. (2007) “Effect of Nigerian Rice Husk Ash on Some Engineering Properties Concrete and Sandcrete Blocks” 32nd Conference on OUR WORLD IN CONCRETE & STRUCTURES: 28-29 August 2007. Singapore
[30] Tsado, T.Y., Yewa, M., Yaman, S. and Yewa, F. (2014) “Comparative Analysis of Properties of Some Artificial Pozzolana in Concrete” International Journal of Engineering and Technology, Vol. 4 No. 5 pp. 251-255
[31] Prasad, C.S., Maiti, K.N. and Venugopal, R. (2001) “Effect of rice husk ash in whiteware compositions” Ceramics International, 27 pp. 629-635
[32] Alamri, A.M. (1988) “Influence of Curing on the Properties of Concrete and Mortar in Hot Climates” PhD Thesis, Leeds University U.K.
[33] Birnin-Yauri, U.A. (2009) “Private Communications)
[34] Okpala, D.C. (1993) “Some Engineering Properties of Sandcrete Blocks containing Rice Husk Ash” Journal of Building and Environment, Vol. 28 No. 3 pp. 235-241
[35] Ettu, L.O., Nwachukwu, K.C., Ajoku, C.A., Awodiji, C.T.G. and Eziefula, U.G. (2013c) “Strength Variation of OPC-RHA Composites with Percentage Rice Husk Ash” International Journal of Applied Sciences and Engineering Research, Vol. 2 Issue 4 pp. 420-424
[36] Ettu, L.O., Osadebe, N.N. and Mbajiorgu, M.S.W. (2013a) “Suitability of Nigerian Agricultural By-Products as Cement Replacement for Concrete Making” International Journal of Modern Engineering Research, Vol. 3 Issue 2, pp. 1180-1185
[37] Ganesan, K., Rajagopal, K. and Thangavel, K. (2008) “Rice husk ash blended cement: assessment of optimal level of replacement for strength and permeability properties of concrete” Construction and Building Materials, 22(8) pp. 1675-1683
[38] Alireza, N.G., Suraya, A., Farah, N.A.A. and Mohamad Amran, M. (2010) “Contribution of Rice Husk Ash to the Properties of Mortar and Concrete: A Review” Journal of American Science, 6(3) pp. 157-165
[39] Abubakar, A. U., (2013) “Performance Assessment of Fly Ash-Blended Cement in Coal Bottom Ash Concrete” Master of Engineering Degree Thesis, Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia
[40] Abubakar, A. U. and Baharudin, K. S. (2012) “Potential of Using Malaysian Thermal Power Plants coal bottom ash in construction” International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering & Technology, Vol. 3 Issue 2. Pp. 25 – 37.
[41] ASTM C150-94: Standard specification for Portland cement. American Society for Testing and Materials. Annual book of ASTM Standards. V. 04. 02 Construction. Philadelphia, USA.
[42] ASTM C191-92: Standard test methods for setting time of hydraulic cement by vicat needle. American Society for Testing and Materials. Annual book of ASTM Standards. V. 04. 02 Construction. Philadelphia, USA.
[43] ASTM C618 (2006) “Standard specification for coal fly ash and raw calcined natural pozzolan for use in Portland cement concrete.” American Society for Testing and Materials. Annual book of ASTM Standards. V. 04. 02 Construction. Philadelphia, USA.
[44] ASTM D 626 (1997) “Micrometric Estimation of Specific Surface Area in Crystalline Granules” American Standard Test Methods
[45] Chindaprasirt, P., Rukzon, S. and Sirvivatnanon, V. (2008) “Resistance to chloride penetration of blended portland cement mortar containing palm oil fuel ash, rice husk ash and fly ash” Construction and Building Materials, 22 pp. 932-938
[46] EN 197-1: 1992. “Cements – Composition, Specification and Conformity Criteria, Part 1. Common Cements”
[47] EN 450-1: 2005. Fly Ash for Concrete. Part 1: Definations, Specifications and Conformity Criteria.
[48] Ettu, L.O., Ibearugbulem, O.N., Anya, U.C., Nwachukwu, K.C. and Awodiji, C.T.G. (2013b) “Strength of Blended Cement Soilcrete Containing Afikpo Rice Husk Ash and Saw Dust Ash” International Journal of Engineering Research and Development, Vol. 7 Issue 2 pp. 52-57
[49] Ettu, L.O., Onyeyili, I.O., Anya, U.C., Awodiji, C.T.G. and Amanze, A.P.C. (2013d) “Strength of Binary Blended Cement Composites Containing Afikpo Rice Husk Ash” International Journal of Computational Engineering Research, Vol. 3 Iss. 4 pp. 71-76
[50] Karim, M.R., Zain, M.F.M., Jamil, M., Lai, F.C. and Islam, M.N. (2011) “Strength development of mortar and concrete containing fly ash: A review” International Journal of the Physical Science, Vol. 6(17) pp. 4137-4153
How to Cite
Abubakar, A. (2018, May 31). Progress on the Use of Rice Husk Ash (RHA) as a Construction Material in Nigeria. Sustainable Structures and Materials, An International Journal, 1(2), 1-13.