This paper assesses the feasibility of two industrial wastes, fly ash (FA) and rice husk ash (RHA), as raw materials for the production of geopolymeric pastes. Three typologies of samples were thus produced: (i) halloysite activated with potassium hydroxide and nanosilica, used as the reference sample (HL-S); (ii) halloysite activated with rice husk ash dissolved into KOH solution (HL-R); (iii) FA activated with the alkaline solution realized with the rice husk ash (FA-R). Dense and porous samples were produced and characterized in terms of mechanical properties and environmental impact. The flexural and compressive strength of HL-R reached about 9 and 43 MPa, respectively. On the contrary, the compressive strength of FA-R is significantly lower than the HL-R one, in spite of a comparable flexural strength being reached. However, when porous samples are concerned, FA-R shows comparable or even higher strength than HL-R. Thus, the current results show that RHA is a valuable alternative to silica nanopowder to prepare the activator solution, to be used either with calcined clay and fly ash feedstock materials. Finally, a preliminary evaluation of the global warming potential (GWP) was performed for the three investigated formulations. With the mix containing FA and RHA-based silica solution, a reduction of about 90% of GWP was achieved with respect to the values obtained for the reference formulation.
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