Synthesis of Geopolymers Using Local Resources for Construction and Water Purification


Large deposits of impure kaolins exist in Jordan and many parts of the world; geoplymers can reduce environmental impacts and have multi-application in many fields, such as water purification, waste treatment, fire proof construction, etc. The aim of this research is to investigate the use of alkali activated zeolitic tuff and low purity metakaolin as precursors for the production of functional geoplymers exhibiting proper mechanical properties and high potential for water storage and decontamination of polluted solutions. The results confirmed that this type of geopolymers showed superior mechanical characteristics and higher adsorption capacity towards heavy metals such as Cu(II) ions, which was similar to natural zeolite. X-ray diffraction analysis showed that phillipsite, a major zeolite mineral, disappeared upon geopolymerization, while scanning electron microscopy analysis showed that geopolymers exhibit a porous matrix of nano-particles. The geopolymers have also displayed high compressive strength and tensile bending strength of about 7.8 MPa and 45 MPa respectively, compared to reference geopolymers. This functional-geopolymers indicate that they are efficient, cost effective and have a potential for number of applications including construction, water storage and wastewater treatment.

Share and Cite:

Hamaideh, A. , Al-Qarallah, B. , Hamdi, M. , Mallouh, S. , Al-Kafawein, J. and Alshaaer, M. (2014) Synthesis of Geopolymers Using Local Resources for Construction and Water Purification. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 6, 507-513. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2014.65049.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Alshaaer, M., El-Eswed, B., Yousef, R.I., Khalili, F. and Rahier, H. (2012) Development of Functional Geopolymers for Water Purification, and Construction Purposes. Journal of Saudi Chemical Society, in press.
[2] Davidovits, J. (1982) Mineral Polymers and Methods of Making Them. US Patent No 4472 1993.
[3] Zaharaki, D., Komnitsas, K. and Perdikatsis, V. (2010) Use of Analytical Techniques for Identification of Inorganic Polymer Gel Composition. Journal of Materials Science, 45, 2715-2724.
[4] Rowles, M. and O’Connor, B. (2003) Chemical Optimisation of the Compressive Strength of Aluminosilicate Geopolymers Synthesized by Sodium Silicate Activation of Metakaolinite. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 13, 1161-1165.
[5] Davidovits, J. (1999) Chemistry of Geopolymeric Systems Terminology. Proceedings of Geopolymer. International Conference, France, 1999.
[6] Komnitsas, K. and. Zaharaki, D. (2007) Geopolymerisation: A Review and Prospects for the Minerals Industry. Minerals Engineering, 20, 1261-1277.
[7] Li, L., Wang, S. and Zhu, Z. (2006) Geopolymeric Adsorbents from Fly Ash for Dye Removal from Aqueous Solution. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 300, 52-59.
[8] Wang, S., Li, L. and Zhu, Z.H. (2007) Solid-State Conversion of Fly Ash to Effective Adsorbents for Cu Removal from Wastewater. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 139, 254-259.
[9] Abderahman, N. and Abu-Rukah, Y.H. (2006) An Assessment Study of Heavy Metal Distribution within Soil in Upper Course of Zarqa River Basin/Jordan. Environmental Geology, 49, 1116-1124.
[10] Alshaaer, M., El-Eswed, B., Yousef, R.I., Khalili, F. and Khoury, H. (2009) Low-Cost Solid Geopolymeric Material for Water Purification. Environmental Issues and Waste Management Technologies in the Materials and Nuclear Industries XII: Ceramic Transactions, published by Wiley, Volume 207.
[11] Yousef, R., El-Eswed, B., Alshaaer, M., Khalili, F. and Khoury, H. (2009) The Influence of Using Jordanian Natural Zeolite on the Adsorption, Physical, and Mechanical Properties of Geopolymers Products. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 165, 379-387.
[12] El-Eswed, B., Yousef, R.I., Alshaaer, M., Khalili, F. and Khoury, H. (2009) Alkali Solid-State Conversion of Kaolin and Zeolite to Effective Adsorbents for Removal of Lead from Aqueous Solution. Desalination and Water Treatment, 8, 124-130.
[13] Alshaaer, M., Cuypers, H., Rahier, H. and Wastiels, J. (2011) Evaluation of a Low Temperature Hardening Inorganic Phosphate Cement for Construction and Industrial Applications. Cement and Concrete Research, 41, 38-45.
[14] Rahier, H., Simons, W., Biesemans, M. and Van Mele, B. (1997) Low-Temperature Synthesised Aluminosilicate Glasses: Part III Influence of the Composition of the Silicate Solution on Production, Structure and Properties. Journal of Materials Science, 32, 2237-2247.
[15] Setzer, C., van Essche, G. and Pryor, N. (2002) title of the article. In: Schuth, F., Sing, K.S.W. and Weitkamp, J., Eds., Handbook of Porous Solids, Vol. 3, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 1543.
[16] Duxson, P., Mallicoat, S.W., Lukey, G.C., Kriven, W.M. and van Deventer, J.S.J. (2007) The Effect of Alkali and Si/Al Ratio on the Development of Mechanical Properties of Metakaolin-Based Geopolymers. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 292, 8-20.
[17] Cheng, T.W., Lee, M.L., Ko, M.S., Ueng, T.H. and Yang, S.F. (2012) The Heavy Metal Adsorption Characteristics on Metakaolin-Based Geopolymer. Applied Clay Science, 56, 90-96.
[18] Peric, J., Trgo, M. and Medvidovic, N.V. (2004) Removal of Zinc, Copper and Lead by Natural Zeolite—A Comparison of Adsorption Isotherms. Water Research, 38, 1893-1899.
[19] Baerlocher, C., Meier, W.M. and Olson, D.H. (2001) Atlas of Zeolite Structure Types. 5th Edition, Elsevier, London.
[20] Schreier, M., Teren, S., Belcher, L., Regalbuto, J.R. and Miller, J.T. (2005) The Nature of ‘Over Exchanged’ Copper and Platinum on Zeolites. Nanotechnology, 16, 582-591.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.