Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 42, Issue 9, pp 3073–3082 | Cite as

Geopolymerisation of low calcium ferronickel slags

Advances in Geopolymer Science & Technology


The present experimental study investigates the feasibility of geopolymer synthesis from low Ca electric arc ferronickel slags. Additives used include kaolinite, sodium silicate, sodium hydroxide and water. The effect of the main factors considered (heating temperature, heating time and aging period) as well as of their interactions on the final compressive strength of the geopolymers produced was studied through a 23 factorial design. The experimental results and the variance analysis have shown that only aging period has a statistically very significant and positive effect on the final compressive strength while the effect of the other factors as well as of their interactions were either less significant or negligible. Identification of new phases formed in order to elucidate geopolymerisation mechanisms was carried out by XRD and FTIR. Sodalite, maghemite, thermonatrite, trona and calcite are the major phases identified. The structural integrity of the produced geopolymers was studied by subjecting them to accelerated freeze–thaw cycles. Finally, the durability of the produced geopolymers when immersed in various aquatic and acidic solutions was investigated.


Compressive Strength Kaolinite Geopolymer Aragonite Maghemite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Assoc. Professor K. Komnitsas would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Greek Ministry of Education in the framework of PYTHAGORAS project entitled “Innovative technologies for the management of hazardous mining wastes towards prevention of groundwater contamination”, as well as LARCO S.A for providing the slag. The authors would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the laboratories of Applied Mineralogy, Rock Mechanics and Ore Processing, in various stages of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mineral Resources EngineeringTechnical University CreteChaniaGreece

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