Research Topic

Geopolymer and Alkali Activated Materials Chemistry, Structure, and Properties

About this Research Topic

The term “geopolymer” has different meanings in different scientific communities. The term is used to indicate synthetic solids obtained by mixing powders of aluminosilicate with alkaline solutions, and is synonymous with alkali-activated materials or soil cement. A number of different formulations have been optimized so far, most of them based on industrial wastes, with others on ashes from biomass. The concepts of circular economy and low-carbon footprint have been applied to the technology adopted for their production: reuse of inert inorganic waste, optimization in the use of toxic mud or wastewater, reduction in natural source use, and many others. Industrial use of geopolymer materials is increasing and their market attracts a lot of interest in the area of green buildings.

The goal of this Research Topic is to collect contributions on the application of novel and established investigation techniques in order to better disclose molecular structure and the chemical reactions behind the cold consolidation of geopolymers and alkali-activated materials. A deep understanding of the chemical nature of each formulation is the bridge toward the comprehension of durability and stability mechanism of geopolymeric matrices employed for structural uses, in place of Portland cement, or for special applications (nuclear waste encapsulation, refractory linings, acidic resistant coating, fireproof composites, humidity regulating plasters, and so on). The aim of this Research Topic is to collect experimental data coming from different scientific communities (civil engineering, materials scientists, nuclear physics, environmental engineers, regulatory bodies members, and others) as this will bring us closer to creating a common language for this new class of solid materials that are more similar to glass than cement, chemically speaking, while widely amorphous in structure, hence very complex to investigate.

We welcome submissions of Original Research, Review, Mini Review and Perspective articles, in themes including, but not limited to:

 • Design and synthesis of novel geopolymers and alkali activated materials formulations
 • Novel synthetic methods and technologies for the preparation and curing of geopolymers or alkali activated materials
 • Development of characterization methodology for geopolymers and alkali activated materials
 • Carbonation and degradation studies of geopolymers and alkali activated materials
 • Surface functionalization of geopolymers and alkali activated materials
 • Advances in the comprehension of durability and stability mechanism of geopolymeric matrices
 • Applications of novel geopolymers and alkali activated materials in diverse fields (such as cultural heritage restoration, waste management and inertization, etc.)
 • Neural network applied to prognosis and diagnosis of mechanical, chemical, thermal behaviour of alkali activated materials
 • LCA studies and carbon footprint evaluation of the preparation process of geopolymers and alkali activated materials

Submissions may also include policy and market aspects for geopolymers and alkali activated materials, as long as this is not the main focus.

Topic Editor Waltraud Kriven is the senior scientist and CEO of Keanetech, LLC. The other editors declare no competing interests.


Keywords: geopolymers, alkali activated materials, surface functionalization, design, characterization


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The term “geopolymer” has different meanings in different scientific communities. The term is used to indicate synthetic solids obtained by mixing powders of aluminosilicate with alkaline solutions, and is synonymous with alkali-activated materials or soil cement. A number of different formulations have been optimized so far, most of them based on industrial wastes, with others on ashes from biomass. The concepts of circular economy and low-carbon footprint have been applied to the technology adopted for their production: reuse of inert inorganic waste, optimization in the use of toxic mud or wastewater, reduction in natural source use, and many others. Industrial use of geopolymer materials is increasing and their market attracts a lot of interest in the area of green buildings.

The goal of this Research Topic is to collect contributions on the application of novel and established investigation techniques in order to better disclose molecular structure and the chemical reactions behind the cold consolidation of geopolymers and alkali-activated materials. A deep understanding of the chemical nature of each formulation is the bridge toward the comprehension of durability and stability mechanism of geopolymeric matrices employed for structural uses, in place of Portland cement, or for special applications (nuclear waste encapsulation, refractory linings, acidic resistant coating, fireproof composites, humidity regulating plasters, and so on). The aim of this Research Topic is to collect experimental data coming from different scientific communities (civil engineering, materials scientists, nuclear physics, environmental engineers, regulatory bodies members, and others) as this will bring us closer to creating a common language for this new class of solid materials that are more similar to glass than cement, chemically speaking, while widely amorphous in structure, hence very complex to investigate.

We welcome submissions of Original Research, Review, Mini Review and Perspective articles, in themes including, but not limited to:

 • Design and synthesis of novel geopolymers and alkali activated materials formulations
 • Novel synthetic methods and technologies for the preparation and curing of geopolymers or alkali activated materials
 • Development of characterization methodology for geopolymers and alkali activated materials
 • Carbonation and degradation studies of geopolymers and alkali activated materials
 • Surface functionalization of geopolymers and alkali activated materials
 • Advances in the comprehension of durability and stability mechanism of geopolymeric matrices
 • Applications of novel geopolymers and alkali activated materials in diverse fields (such as cultural heritage restoration, waste management and inertization, etc.)
 • Neural network applied to prognosis and diagnosis of mechanical, chemical, thermal behaviour of alkali activated materials
 • LCA studies and carbon footprint evaluation of the preparation process of geopolymers and alkali activated materials

Submissions may also include policy and market aspects for geopolymers and alkali activated materials, as long as this is not the main focus.

Topic Editor Waltraud Kriven is the senior scientist and CEO of Keanetech, LLC. The other editors declare no competing interests.


Keywords: geopolymers, alkali activated materials, surface functionalization, design, characterization


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

26 February 2021 Abstract
28 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

26 February 2021 Abstract
28 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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