University of Oulu

Luukkonen, T., Heponiemi, A., Runtti, H. et al. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol (2019) 18: 271.

Application of alkali-activated materials for water and wastewater treatment : a review

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Author: Luukkonen, Tero1,2; Heponiemi, Anne3; Runtti, Hanna3;
Organizations: 1Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, Kuntokatu 5, 87101 Kajaani, Finland
2Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Sustainable Chemistry, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
4Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius, University of Jyvaskyla, P.O. Box 567, 67701 Kokkola, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-03-27


Alkali-activation (or geopolymer) technology has gained a great deal of interest for its potential applications in water and wastewater treatment during the last decade. Alkali-activated materials can be prepared via a relatively simple and low-energy process, most commonly by treating aluminosilicate precursors with concentrated alkali hydroxide and/or silicate solutions at (near) ambient conditions. The resulting materials are, in general, amorphous, have good physical and chemical stability, ion-exchange properties, and a porous structure. Several of the precursors are industrial by-products or other readily available low-cost materials, which further enhances the environmental and economic feasibility. The application areas of alkali-activated materials in water and wastewater treatment are adsorbents/ion-exchangers, photocatalysts, high-pressure membranes, filter media, anti-microbial materials, pH buffers, carrier media in bioreactors, and solidification/stabilization of water treatment residues. The purpose of this review is to present a comprehensive evaluation of the rapidly growing prospects of alkali-activation technology in water and wastewater treatment.

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Series: Reviews in environmental science and bio-technology
ISSN: 1569-1705
ISSN-E: 1572-9826
ISSN-L: 1569-1705
Volume: 18
Issue: 2
Pages: 271 - 297
DOI: 10.1007/s11157-019-09494-0
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
1172 Environmental sciences
216 Materials engineering
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. This work was supported by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES) [Grant Number 4096/31/2014] (Project GeoSorbents).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.