Selection and characterisation of geological materials for use as geopolymer precursors

A. McIntosh, S. E. M. Lawther, J. Kwasny, M. N. Soutsos, D. Cleland, S. Nanukuttan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    Geopolymer binders are generally formed by reacting powdered aluminosilicate precursors with alkali silicate activators. Most research to date has concentrated on using either pulverised fuel ash or high purity dehydroxylated kaolin (metakaolin) in association with ground granulated blast furnace slag as the main precursor material. However, recently, attention has turned to alternative calcined clays that are abundant throughout the globe and have lower kaolinite contents than commercially available metakaolins. Due to the lack of clear and simple screening protocols enabling assessment of such geological resources for use as precursors in geopolymer systems, the present paper presents results from experimental work that was carried out to develop a functional binder using materials containing kaolinite taken from the Interbasaltic Formation of Northern Ireland. The influence of mineralogy has been examined, and a screening process, using three Interbasaltic materials as examples, that will assist in the rapid selection of suitable geopolymeric precursors from such materials is outlined.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)378-385
    Number of pages8
    JournalAdvances in Applied Ceramics: Structural, Functional and Bioceramics
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2015


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