View More View Less
  • 1 Department Chemistry, Materials and Forensic Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia PO Box 123, Broadway NSW 2007
Restricted access


The reactivity of MgO obtained from calcination of magnesium carbonate at different temperatures has been investigated by means of hydration in a constant relative humidity environment at 40°C for periods up to 24 days. Natural magnesite and AR grade basic MgCO3 calcined in the range of 500–1000°C was characterised in terms of surface area, crystallite size, morphology, and hydration rate. It was found that the hydration rate is dependent on the surface area and crystallite size where temperature was the main variable affecting them. The most reactive MgO was produced at the lowest calcination temperature with the highest surface area and the smallest crystallite size. The basic MgO specimens showed higher degree of hydration compared to the natural MgO specimens due to the smaller surface area and larger crystallite size. The low MgO content of the starting natural magnesite is also attributable to the lower reactivity. This preliminary study serves as a mean to investigate potential utilisation of reactive MgO as a supplementary cementitious material in eco-friendly cements.