Special Issue "Environmentally Friendly Geopolymer Composites"

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Raffaele Cioffi

INSTM Research Group Napoli Parthenope, Centro Direzionale Napoli, Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università di Napoli ‘Parthenope’, Isola C4, Napoli 80143, Italy
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Interests: environmental chemistry; environmental safety; environmental engineering and policy; waste management; waste stabilization and solidification; waste recycling; hazardous waste; soil heavy metal pollution assessment; contaminated sediments; natural resource management; construction and demolition wastes; life cycle analysis
Guest Editor
Dr. Claudio Ferone

Department of Engineering, University of Naples "Parthenope", Centro Direzionale, Is. C4, Napoli 80143, Italy
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Interests: geopolymers; alkali-activated materials; sustainibility; waste recycling; advanced ceramics
Guest Editor
Dr. Francesco Messina

INSTM Research Group Napoli Parthenope, Centro Direzionale Napoli, Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università di Napoli ‘Parthenope’, Isola C4, Napoli 80143, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: geopolymers; waste stabilization and solidification; construction and demolition wastes; durability assessment; rheology
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Giuseppina Roviello

INSTM Research Group Napoli Parthenope, Centro Direzionale Napoli, Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università di Napoli ‘Parthenope’, Isola C4, Napoli 80143, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: green chemistry; coordination chemistry; polymer chemistry; geopolymers; composites and hybrid materials; structural characterization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Alkali-activated materials, and geopolymers in particular, represent one of the most interesting classes of innovative binders. Geopolymers are considered environmentally friendly materials, since their use in concrete applications could significantly reduce CO2 emissions thanks to the “low carbon” footprint of several raw materials with a high concentration of aluminosilicates from which they can be prepared, i.e., dehydroxylated kaolinite (metakaolin, MK) or industrial waste, such as fly ash or blast furnace slag. Within this wide research field, geopolymer composites represent a class of particularly versatile materials, with widely tunable performances, depending on the applications for which they are designed. This Special Issue aims to offer the scientific community a deeper comprehension of the structural, microstructural and physico-mechanical characteristics of geopolymeric mortars, geopolymer-resins composites, geopolymers with additive or reinforcement, for applications both in the construction industry, masonry restoration, waste stabilization, and inertization, but also in advanced chemical applications, such as catalysis or the removal of pollutants.

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Cioffi
Prof. Dr. Claudio Ferone
Prof. Dr. Giuseppina Roviello
Dr. Francesco Messina
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Geopolymer composites
  • alkali-activated materials
  • sustainability

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Geopolymer Composites for Potential Applications in Cultural Heritage
Environments 2017, 4(4), 91; doi:10.3390/environments4040091
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
A new class of geopolymer composites, as materials alternative to traditional binders, was synthesized and its potentialities as restoration material in Cultural Heritage has been explored. This material has been prepared through a co-reticulation reaction in mild conditions of a metakaolin-based geopolymer inorganic
[...] Read more.
A new class of geopolymer composites, as materials alternative to traditional binders, was synthesized and its potentialities as restoration material in Cultural Heritage has been explored. This material has been prepared through a co-reticulation reaction in mild conditions of a metakaolin-based geopolymer inorganic matrix and a commercial epoxy resin. The freshly prepared slurry displays a consistency, workability and thixotropic behavior that make it suitable to be spread on different substrates in restoration, repair and reinforcement actions, even on walls and ceilings. Applicability and compatibility tests on tuff and concrete substrates were carried out and the microstructure of the samples in correspondence of the transition zone was analyzed by means of scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) mapping. Our studies pointed out the formation of a continuous phase between the geopolymer composite and tuff and concrete substrates, highlighting a high compatibility of the geopolymer binder with different kinds of materials. These features indicate a large potential for applications of these materials in Cultural Heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Friendly Geopolymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Addition of WEEE Glass to Metakaolin-Based Geopolymeric Binder: A Cytotoxicity Study
Environments 2017, 4(4), 89; doi:10.3390/environments4040089
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
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Abstract
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) types of glass, including Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) glass, are now separately collected in European Union 28 (EU28) zone. Due to the high level of Pb and Ba in their compositions, this type of waste finds its
[...] Read more.
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) types of glass, including Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) glass, are now separately collected in European Union 28 (EU28) zone. Due to the high level of Pb and Ba in their compositions, this type of waste finds its way to the disposal. In the present research, a geopolymer matrix based on metakaolin is used to blend in fine powder panel and funnel glass from personal computer (PC) and television (TV) monitors. Such waste glass, which cannot be directed to glass melting furnaces, is safely incorporated into a geopolymer matrix. The consolidation of the geopolymeric matrix containing the waste glass was followed by pH and conductibility up to 28 days of curing. Scanning electron microscope equipped with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) was used to obtain information on the microstructure of the consolidated products. Cytotoxicity tests helped the environmental evaluation of these materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Friendly Geopolymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Porous Geopolymer Insulating Core from a Metakaolin/Biomass Ash Composite
Environments 2017, 4(4), 86; doi:10.3390/environments4040086
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
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Abstract
Ashes derived from the combustion of vegetal and animal biomass still represent a mostly unexplored secondary raw material for the production of alkali-activated materials, given their peculiar chemical nature. In this work, calcium phosphate biomass ashes were successfully used as partially reactive fillers
[...] Read more.
Ashes derived from the combustion of vegetal and animal biomass still represent a mostly unexplored secondary raw material for the production of alkali-activated materials, given their peculiar chemical nature. In this work, calcium phosphate biomass ashes were successfully used as partially reactive fillers in a metakaolin-based geopolymer composite to produce, by direct foaming, sustainable and lightweight boards with thermal insulating properties. The investigated materials were obtained by activating a blend of metakaolin and biomass ash in a weight ratio of 1: 1 and foamed with the addition of H2O2 in measure of 5 wt. %, to maximize the volume of disposed ash and ensure adequate properties to the material at the same time. The obtained geopolymer composite was characterized by microstructural, chemical-physical, mechanical and thermal analysis: the obtained results showed that biomass ash and metakaolin well integrated in the microstructure of the final porous material, which was characterized by a density of about 310 kg/m3 and a thermal conductivity of 0.073 W/mK at a mean test temperature of 30 °C, coupled with an acceptable compressive strength of about 0.6 MPa. Dilatometric and thermogravimetric analysis, performed up to 1000 °C, highlighted the thermal stability of the composite, which could be regarded as a promising material for low-cost, self-bearing thermal insulating partitions or lightweight cores for thermostructural sandwich panels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Friendly Geopolymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Mechanical Behaviour of Soil Improved by Alkali Activated Binders
Environments 2017, 4(4), 80; doi:10.3390/environments4040080
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 9 November 2017 / Published: 11 November 2017
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Abstract
The use of alkali activated binders to improve engineering properties of clayey soils is a novel solution, and an alternative to the widely diffused improvement based on the use of traditional binders such as lime and cement. In the paper the alkaline activation
[...] Read more.
The use of alkali activated binders to improve engineering properties of clayey soils is a novel solution, and an alternative to the widely diffused improvement based on the use of traditional binders such as lime and cement. In the paper the alkaline activation of two fly ashes, by-products of coal combustion thermoelectric power plants, has been presented. These alkali activated binders have been mixed with a clayey soil for evaluating the improvement of its mechanical behaviour. One-dimensional compression tests on raw and treated samples have been performed with reference to the effects induced by type of binder, binder contents and curing time. The experimental evidences at volume scale of the treated samples have been directly linked to the chemo-physical evolution of the binders, investigated over curing time by means of X Ray Diffraction. Test results showed a high reactivity of the alkali activated binders promoting the formation of new mineralogical phases responsible for the mechanical improvement of treated soil. The efficiency of alkali activated binders soil treatment has been highlighted by comparison with mechanical performance induced by Portland cement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Friendly Geopolymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Production of Geopolymeric Mortars Containing Forest Biomass Ash as Partial Replacement of Metakaolin
Environments 2017, 4(4), 74; doi:10.3390/environments4040074
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 15 October 2017
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Abstract
Geopolymers are a new class of binders based on alkali activation of natural and by-products raw materials. Their properties and eco-compatibility highly depends on the reaction system. The (Na,K)2O-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O system shows a distinguishing
[...] Read more.
Geopolymers are a new class of binders based on alkali activation of natural and by-products raw materials. Their properties and eco-compatibility highly depends on the reaction system. The (Na,K)2O-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O system shows a distinguishing pseudo-zeolitic network structure, but reaction requires a high amount of activators. The aim of this work is to investigate how the use of forest biomass ash (FBA), as partial replacement material in the production of metakaolin (MK) based geopolymeric mortar, and affect its properties. FBA is a by-product of the combustion process of forest biomass in thermal power plants. Mortars with a FBA content of 0%, 10%, 20%, and 30% wt have been tested for workability, flexural, and compressive strength. Capillary absorption, micro-morphological features, thermal, and shrinkage behavior have been investigated. The addition of FBA allowed for a decrease in the use of alkaline activator up to 20%, while preserving the characteristic broad hump centered at approximately 28° 2θ Mechanical properties of the geopolymeric mortars decrease proportionally with metakaolin replacement, even if a compression strength of more than 35 MPa is still obtained with a FBA content of 30% wt. After thermal cycles of up to 700 °C, all of the mortars still retain their cohesiveness, with an overall loss of mechanical strength of about 80% of the initial value that can be attributed to the formation of microcracks as a consequence of the network strain and distortion due to dehydration and shrinkage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Friendly Geopolymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Calcium Sulfoaluminate, Geopolymeric, and Cementitious Mortars for Structural Applications
Environments 2017, 4(3), 64; doi:10.3390/environments4030064
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 16 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper deals with the study of calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) and geopolymeric (GEO) binders as alternatives to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) for the production of more environmentally-friendly construction materials. For this reason, three types of mortar with the same mechanical strength class (R3
[...] Read more.
This paper deals with the study of calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) and geopolymeric (GEO) binders as alternatives to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) for the production of more environmentally-friendly construction materials. For this reason, three types of mortar with the same mechanical strength class (R3 ≥ 25 MPa, according to EN 1504-3) were tested and compared; they were based on CSA cement, an alkaline activated coal fly ash, and OPC. Firstly, binder pastes were prepared and their hydration was studied by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and differential thermal-thermogravimetric (DT-TG) analyses. Afterwards, mortars were compared in terms of workability, dynamic modulus of elasticity, adhesion to red clay bricks, free and restrained drying shrinkage, water vapor permeability, capillary water absorption, and resistance to sulfate attack. DT-TG and XRD analyses evidenced the main reactive phases of the investigated binders involved in the hydration reactions. Moreover, the sulfoaluminate mortar showed the smallest free shrinkage and the highest restrained shrinkage, mainly due to its high dynamic modulus of elasticity. The pore size distribution of geopolymeric mortar was responsible for the lowest capillary water absorption at short times and for the highest permeability to water vapor and the greatest resistance to sulfate attack. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Friendly Geopolymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Geopolymerization Ability of Natural and Secondary Raw Materials by Solubility Test in Alkaline Media
Environments 2017, 4(3), 56; doi:10.3390/environments4030056
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 9 August 2017 / Published: 11 August 2017
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Abstract
The extent of the dissolution of aluminosilicate compounds is crucial, since the amount of Si and Al initially dissolved is essential for the following polycondensation and can strongly influence physical and mechanical performances of the final product. In order to set up a
[...] Read more.
The extent of the dissolution of aluminosilicate compounds is crucial, since the amount of Si and Al initially dissolved is essential for the following polycondensation and can strongly influence physical and mechanical performances of the final product. In order to set up a method to test the ability of a material to react in alkaline media, different aluminosilicate sources have been selected: a mineral resource (a zeolitized tuff), an industrial by product (silt from washing process of construction and demolition wastes), a heat treated clay sediment and a calcined clay (metakaolin). Two test methods, static and dynamic, have been applied to evaluate the attitude of a silicoaluminate precursor to give a geopolymerization reaction. In particular, a fixed amount of precursor was put into contact with a alkaline solution under continuous stirring or in static conditions at 60 °C for fixed times. The dynamic test method seems to be more suitable, since it is faster and requires lower amounts of reactants (solution). Moreover, the dynamic test provides a reactivity sequence (ordered from the more to the less reactive precursor) metakaolin > treated clay sediment > zeolitized tuff ≈ silt both for Si and Al release, which is coherent with the performances of geopolymers obtained by using the above precursors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Friendly Geopolymer Composites)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Geopolymeric matrices for the stabilization/solidification of industrial wastes and natural residues with a high degree of contamination
Authors: Francesco Messina 1, Anna Simeoni 1, Sabino De Gisi 2,*, Francesco Todaro 2, Claudio Ferone 1, Francesco Colangelo 1, Michele Notarnicola 2 and Raffaele Cioffi 1
Affiliations: 1 Department of Engineering, University of Naples Parthenope, INSTM Research Group Naples Parthenope, Centro Direzionale Is. C4, Naples, Italy; 2 Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Building Engineering and Chemistry (DICATECh), Technical University of Bari, Via E. Orabona n. 4, 70125 Bari (BA), Italy; Email: sabino.degisi@poliba.it
Abstract: Nowadays, the use of geopolymers in Stabilization/Solidification (S/S) processes for the treatment of different types of waste is a very attractive solution. The geopolymers can be synthesized by the alkaline activation of different solid precursors, mainly amorphous aluminosilicates with moderate content of calcium. Compared to conventional cementitious binders, the geopolymers are characterized by better durability in chemically aggressive environments as well as reduced environmental impacts associated with the generation and synthesis phases. Furthermore, the mix design of geopolymers allows the recovery of substantial quantities of industrial by-products and waste. However, geopolymeric matrices show several problems when they are applied to a very contaminated waste. It is the case of cementitious stabilizing matrices in presence of a considerable content of organic contaminants. These pollutants can generate several problems in the processes of setting and hardening of the cementitious matrix with a consequent lower durability of the final product. With the intent to increase the existing knowledge, the study aims to present the main aspects of interest for the design of geopolymeric mixtures to be applied in S/S processes. In addition, the necessary future developments for an effective marketing of this innovative technology have been discussed.

Type of Paper: Article
Title:
Addition of recycled glass to metakaolin based geopolymeric binder: a citotossicity study
Authors: Isabella Lancellotti 1,*, Michelina Catauro 2 and Cristina Leonelli 1
Affiliations: 1 Department of Engineering “Enzo Ferrari”, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via P. Vivarelli n. 10, 41125 Modena, Italy; 2 Department of. Industrial and Information Engineering, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Aversa, Italy; Email: isabella.lancellotti@unimore.it
Abstract: The average glass recycling rate in 2016 in the EU28 zone has reached the 74% threshold for the first time [1]. This means that over 11.6 million tons were collected throughout the European Union in 2014 or 3.5% more than in the previous year. The majority of that goes back into making new packaging: glass stands alone as the most closed loop recycled food and drink packaging in the EU and in the world. Nevertheless, about 1% of this recycled glass is discarded by the automatic selecting machinery and founds its way to the disposal. In the present project, a geopolymer matrix based on alkali activated metakaolin has been used to blend in fine powder of this waste glass which cannot be directed to glass melting furnaces. Such waste glass present impurities such as lead and barium which are safely incorporated into a geopolymer matrix. The consolidation of the geopolymeric matrix containing the waste glass was followed by pH and conductibility till 28 days of curing. SEM/EDS observations were useful to obtain information on microstructure of the consolidated products. Citotossicity tests indicated complete de-toxification of the waste glass.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Calcium sulphoaluminate, geopolymeric and cementitious mortars for structural applications in comparison
Authors: Alessandra Mobili 1, Chiara Giosuè 1, Alberto Belli 1, Antonio Telesca 2, Milena Marroccoli 2, Francesca Tittarelli 1,3,*
Affiliations: 1 Department of Materials, Environmental Sciences and Urban Planning, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche 12, 60131, Ancona, Italy - UdR INSTM; Email: francesca.tittarelli@giustizia.it; 2 School of Engineering, Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Campus di Macchia Romana, Viale dell'Ateneo Lucano 10, 85100, Potenza, Italy; 3 ISAC-CNR, Via Gobetti, 101 40129 Bologna, Italy
Abstract: The work deals with the study of calcium sulphoaluminate (CSA) and geopolymeric (GP) binders as alternatives to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) for the production of more environmentally-friendly construction materials. To this aim, three types of mortars with the same mechanical strength class (R3≥25 MPa, according to EN 1504-3) were tested and compared; they were respectively based on CSA cement, an alkaline activated coal fly ash and OPC. The mortars were first subjected to hydration tests and characterized by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and differential thermal–thermogravimetric (DTA-TG) analyses; afterwards they were compared in terms of workability, dynamic modulus of elasticity, adhesion to red clay bricks, free and restrained drying shrinkage, water vapour permeability, capillary water absorption and resistance to sulphates. DTA-TG and XRD analyses confirmed the role of the hydration reactions involving the main reactive phases of the investigated binders. Moreover, it has been found that sulphoaluminate mortar showed the smallest free shrinkage and the highest restrained shrinkage, mainly due to its high dynamic modulus of elasticity. The reduced pore distribution of geopolymeric mortar was responsible of the lowest capillary water absorption at short curing times and both the highest permeability to water vapour and the greatest resistance to sulphate attack.

 

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