Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker


  • Brant WalkleyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_299


Alkali-activated material; Inorganic polymer glass; Inorganic polymers; Mineral polymers; Soil cement


A broad class of materials produced by the reaction of an alkali solution and an aluminosilicate powder which can bind other materials (e.g., aggregate) into a hardened, cohesive mass.

In contrast to traditional cements, the aluminosilicate powder used in geopolymers is not hydraulic (i.e., does not harden through the addition of water) and contains little, if any, calcium oxide. Consequently, the aluminosilicate powder must be activated by reaction with an alkali solution to form a hardened binder. Geopolymers exhibit technical characteristics which often meet or exceed those of traditional Portland cement, with far lower CO2emissions. Consequently, the dominant application for geopolymers is in use as a sustainable construction material. Other applications include use in zeolite synthesis, sol-gel processing, radioactive waste immobilization, biomaterials, fiber...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringThe University of SheffieldSheffieldUK