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Minerals 2018, 8(9), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8090411

Chemical Stability and Leaching Behavior of One-Part Geopolymer from Soil and Coal Fly Ash Mixtures

1
Chemical Engineering Department, Gokongwei College of Engineering, De La Salle University, Manila 1004, Philippines
2
Civil Engineering Department, Gokongwei College of Engineering, De La Salle University, Manila 1004, Philippines
3
Chemistry Department, College of Science, De La Salle University, Manila 1004, Philippines
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 July 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers)
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Abstract

Aluminosilicate minerals have become an important resource for an emerging sustainable material for construction known as geopolymer. Geopolymer, an alkali-activated material, is becoming an attractive alternative to Portland cement because of its lower carbon footprint and embodied energy. However, the synthesis process requires typically a two-part system for alkali activation wherein the solid geopolymer precursor is mixed with aqueous alkali solutions. These alkali activators are corrosive and may be difficult to handle in the field-scale application. In this study, a one-part geopolymer in which coal fly ash was mixed with solid alkali activators such as sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate to form a powdery cementitious binder was developed. This binder mixed with soil only requires water to form the soil-fly ash (SO-CFA) geopolymer cement, which can be used as stabilized soil for backfill/foundation. This geopolymer product was then evaluated for chemical stability by immersing the material with 5% by weight of sulfuric acid solution for 28 days. Indication suggests that the geopolymer exhibited high resistance against acid attack with an observed increase of unconfined compressive strength even when the immersion time in acidic solution was increased to 56 days. The mineralogical phase, microstructure, and morphology of the material were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), respectively. Results not only confirmed the formation of gypsum due to acid attack but also indicated the dissolution of anorthite and albite that may have caused the microstructure to be composed of sodium aluminosilicate hydrate (N–A–S–H) and calcium (alumino) silicate hydrate (C(–A)–S–H) with poly(ferro-sialate-siloxo) and poly(ferro-sialate-disiloxo) networks. A column leaching test with deionized water was also performed on the soil-fly ash geopolymer to study the leachability of metals in the material. Results showed that arsenic exhibits higher mobility in the geopolymer as compared to that of cadmium, chromium, and lead. View Full-Text
Keywords: acid resistance; leachability; one-part geopolymer soil stabilizer; soil; coal fly ash; alkali activation acid resistance; leachability; one-part geopolymer soil stabilizer; soil; coal fly ash; alkali activation
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Tigue, A.A.S.; Malenab, R.A.J.; Dungca, J.R.; Yu, D.E.C.; Promentilla, M.A.B. Chemical Stability and Leaching Behavior of One-Part Geopolymer from Soil and Coal Fly Ash Mixtures. Minerals 2018, 8, 411.

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