Ambient temperature geopolymerization of paper sludge ashes (PS-ashes) discharged from paper mills was studied by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), induction coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), and X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES). Two varieties of alkaline liquors were used in the PS-ash based geopolymers, corresponding to aqueous Na-metasilicate and Na-disilicate compositions. PS-ashes were found to be semi-crystalline and to have porous structures that make it possible to absorb much liquor. Flexural strengths of PS-ash-based geopolymers with liquor/filler ratios (L/F) of 1.0–1.5 ranged from 0.82 to 1.51 MPa at 4 weeks age, depending on PS-ashes and liquors used. The reaction process of the constituent minerals of the PS-ash is discussed. Furthermore, we attempted to solidify hazardous water contaminated with radioisotopes. Non-radioactive strontium and cesium nitrates were added as surrogates at a dosage of 1% into the PS-ash-based geopolymers. Generally, high immobilization ratios up to 99.89% and 98.77% were achieved for Sr2+
, respectively, depending on the source of PS-ashes, alkaline liquors, and material ages. However, in some cases, poor immobilization ratios were encountered, and we further discussed the causes of the instability of derived geopolymer gels on the basis of XANES spectra.
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