University of Oulu

Paiva, H.; Yliniemi, J.; Illikainen, M.; Rocha, F.; Ferreira, V.M. Mine Tailings Geopolymers as a Waste Management Solution for A More Sustainable Habitat. Sustainability 2019, 11, 995.

Mine tailings geopolymers as a waste management solution for a more sustainable habitat

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Author: Paiva, Helena1; Yliniemi, Juho2; Illikainen, Mirja2;
Organizations: 1Civil Engineering Department/CICECO, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
2Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, Oulu University, PO Box 4300, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3Centre GeoBioTec (Georesources, Geotechnics, Geomaterials Research Group), University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
4Civil Engineering Department/RISCO, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 5.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-03-01


The demand for low environmental impact of materials in our habitat is one of the current societal challenges. Along with other solutions of waste valorisation, alkali activation as geopolymers can be one possible solution of waste valorisation because they may allow, for instance, an alternative solution for cement-based materials in some applications and it is one contribution for circular economy. This work has focused on the development and processing of geopolymers that incorporates as a fine aggregate a high-sulfidic mining waste (mine tailing), a difficult waste to process. Rheology analysis was applied as an important step to understand not only the geopolymers behaviour but also its transition from the fresh to the hardened state. The effect of precursor binder type (metakaolin or blast furnace slag), of mine tailing content and also the effect of temperature and curing conditions of different formulations were studied in this solution. It was possible to conclude that although this particular mine tailing is not a geopolymer binder precursor, it may be incorporated as an alternative fine aggregate in construction products. Furthermore, rheology could be used to follow up the geopolymer alkali-activation process and even to setup proper curing conditions and components contents in order to optimize the final mechanical strength of this material as a waste management solution. The final properties of these geopolymers compositions were adequate and after 28 days of curing, these geopolymers exhibit significant chemical resistance under severe test conditions.

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Series: Sustainability
ISSN: 2071-1050
ISSN-E: 2071-1050
ISSN-L: 2071-1050
Volume: 11
Issue: 4
Article number: 995
DOI: 10.3390/su11040995
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: This work was carried out under the auspices of the GEOSULF ERA-MIN project, supported by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes), Portuguese National Funding Agency for Science, Research and Technology (FCT) and the National Centre for Research and Development of Poland (NCBR), whom the authors wish to acknowledge.
Copyright information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).