Effect of Activating Solution Modulus on the Synthesis of Sustainable Geopolymer Binders Using Spent Oil Bleaching Earths as Precursor

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The valorization of spent oil bleaching earths (SOBE) is crucial for the protection of the environment and the reuse of resources. In this research, alkali-activated binders were manufactured at room temperature using SOBE as a precursor by varying the mass ratio between the activating solutions of sodium silicate (Na2SiO3) and 6 M sodium hydroxide (NaOH) (activating solution modulus) (Na2SiO3/NaOH ratio = 1/1; 1/2; 1/3; 1/4) to investigate the influence on the technological properties of the materials. This process intends to evaluate the potential of SOBE, heat-treated at 550 degrees C (1 h), as a precursor of the reaction (source of aluminosilicates). Samples produced with higher amounts of sodium silicate developed a denser structure, with lower porosity and a higher amount of geopolymer gel. Maximum flexural (8.35 MPa) and compressive (28.4 MPa) strengths of samples cured at room temperature for 28 days were obtained with a Na2SiO3/NaOH mass ratio of 1/1. The study demonstrates that SOBE waste can be used as a precursor in the manufacture of geopolymer binders that show a good compromise between physical, mechanical and thermally insulating characteristics.
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spent bleaching earth, geopolymers, activating solution, activator modulus, compressive strength, microstructure, Ash-based-geopolymers, Fly-ash, Waste glass, Inorganic geopolymers, Mechanical-properties, Part i, Cement, Sodium, Fabrication, Resistance