Characterization of natural pozzolan-based geopolymeric binders

Juhyuk Moon, Sungchul Bae, Kemal Celik, Seyoon Yoon, Ki-Hyun Kim, Kang Su Kim, Paulo J. M. Monteiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Properties and characteristics of fly ash- or slag-based geopolymers have been extensively explored but comparatively less information is available for natural pozzolan-based geopolymers. The present work focuses on microstructural characteristics of natural pozzolan-based geopolymers activated by sodium hydroxide and a mixture of sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate. Synchrotron XRD and SEM-EDS studies combined with compressive strength tests successfully demonstrate the feasibility of the use of natural pozzolan for sustainable construction material. It is concluded that the geopolymers have sufficient strength as structural materials and matrices contain C-S-H like crystal as well as zeolites of hydroxysodalite and zeolite Y. Two zeolites of hydroxysodalite and zeolite Y are found as the main activation products in sodium hydroxide activation. Substitution with sodium silicate solution yields higher compressive strength and a denser microstructure with dominant activation products of C-S-H like crystal, zeolite Y, and phillipsite. It has been proposed that the crystal size of the activation products ranges from 10 nm to 1 μm. Different microstructural characteristics found herein provide a valuable information to develop natural pozzolan-based sustainable structural materials with improved properties. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
StatePublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-l1-004021
Acknowledgements: This research was funded by Award No. KUS-l1-004021, from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. The Advanced Light Source is supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy under No. DE-AC02-05CH11231.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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