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Abstract

Geopolymers are a new class of materials that can be synthesized using natural minerals, and waste materials. Among these substrates, the use of fly ash is desirable as it involves the conversion of a copious waste material into a useful product. The aim of the research was geopolymers synthesis from coal fly ash and biomass ash. Concentrated sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate solutions were used as activators in geopolymerisation reaction. The results show that both coal fly ash and biomass ash can be utilized as source materials for the production of geopolymers. The surface morphology and chemical composition analysis were examined for the obtained geopolymers and ashes from coal and biomass combustion by SEM-EDS methods. It was found almost total disappearance of spherical forms of grains and reduction the porosity of structure for geopolymer based on fly ash from coal combustion. While the structure of the geopolymer based ash from biomass combustion is more porous. The UV-VIS-NIR spectra were performed on the coal fly ash, biomass ash and geopolymers. They showed that the obtained geopolymers possess optical and photocatalytic properties. The similarity of the geopolymer network and the zeolite framework in relation to ion exchange and accommodation of metal ions open questions on possibilities for the application of geopolymer materials as amorphous analogues of zeolite. The FT-IR spectra analyses were used on the geopolymers before and after metals sorption. It was found that geopolymer based on ash from biomass combustion has better sorption properties compared to geopolymer based on ash from coal combustion.
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